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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

JANUARY 2021

BUMPER NEW YEAR PREVIEW EDITION 2021 SPORTS PREVIEW A LOOK AHEAD TO THE SPORTS ACTION THIS YEAR

SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS THE TOP SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECH TRENDS FOR 2021

TRY SOMETHING NEW GO WILD THIS YEAR AND CHALLENGE YOURSELF

BRAND NEW BEDROOM THE HOTTEST BEDROOM DIY TRENDS THIS YEAR


CONTENTS COVER STORY

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LIFESTYLE

Bedroom DIY and Decorating Ideas Check out the hot, new trends for 2021

PROPERTY

13 16 20

Jobs for the Home Let us help you get your house in order for the new year Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice

Burns Night Learn about how we celebrate the poet Robert Burns

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Hottest New Books Here we take a look at the books have got us excited this year

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FOOD

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4

New Movie Releases Check out these 2021 cinema releases

Social Media and Technology What is changing in the world of Technology and how will it change the way we work

SPORT

Recipe: Homemade Bread Get stuck in to cooking with some homemade baking

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2021 Sports Preview Catch up with the upcoming sporting events for 2021

WELCOME TO THE JANUARY ISSUE!

H

appy New Year!!! We hope you

picks for movies, books, and sporting

all had a lovely festive season,

events as well as a great list of jobs to

and to get your year off to the

help you get on top of the house ready

best possible start we have a treat for

for Spring!

you this month… Inside the home, we have some Yes, okay, so 2020 didn’t exactly turn

fantastic ideas for your bedroom

out as we all expected, but it’s a new

incorporating some of the hottest DIY

year… a whole 12 months to try

trends we have found for 2021! And for

something new, to learn new things,

all you budding Instagrammers, we

to move and grow. And you won’t be

have a great guide on what we expect

disaappointed with our bumper 2021

to see on social media in the coming

preview magazine!

months.

Feeling a bit adventurous? Check out

The shortest day has passed, and after

our feature on new things to try in

the darkness, look forward to the

2021! We have you covered with some

lighter evenings, brighter mornings,

excellent ideas for this year. However, if

and above all, keep safe and look after

you feel like a history lesson, then on

each other…

pages 4&5 learn all about Burns Night. Then, we have our bumper 2021 preview for you! Check out our top

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PROPERTY NEWS

Jonathan Wheatley Editor

It’s a new year and time to try something new. But just how daring will you be?

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ucket lists have an air of morbid finality, a list of ‘must-do’ ambitions before that date with destiny. However, a schedule of mind-expanding, physically demanding experiences might be the ideal psychological boost required as we try to shake off the lethargy and restrictions of a pretty miserable 2020. Rock climbing? Go for it. Run a marathon? Why not? Bungee jumping… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Although you know what they say, to dare is to do. You can ease your way into 2021 by learning chess. The success of the compulsive TV mini-series The Queen’s Gambit has made this most unremarkable and nerdy game of strategy suddenly sexy, and there has been a surge in sales of boards and pieces as fans of the Netflix drama get to grips with the intricacies of the board game. It could be one of the most mentallychallenging things you will do this year – aside from trying to assemble flat-pack furniture or fill in a tax return – and is oddly addictive.


DON’T JUST SIT THERE,

DO SOMETHING! Television is a rich source of ideas for broadening your horizons – the rise in home bakers since the Great British Bake Off launched is testament to that – and another small-screen favourite, Strictly Come Dancing, has long been responsible for injecting a little Latin into new year resolutions, particularly regarding the salsa which is both super sporty and

Many leisure centres have their own customised indoor rock walls for anyone wanting to learn the ropes

extremely social. Classes and schools have been springing up everywhere from village halls to leisure centres and should be popular for those looking to keep fit, break into a bit of a sweat or shrug off the monotony of lockdown by mixing with real, not virtual, people. And there are videos on YouTube just to let you know what you can expect. If you fancy the idea of taking more faster steps, then see how you go with the Couch to 5k programme, an NHS-backed scheme described as a running plan for absolute beginners. Obviously, the intention is to get to 5k but once the running bug bites why not aim a little bit higher and book yourself in for a 10k, half or even a full marathon in 2022.

Much has been made of open-water swimming in recent years, probably sparked by the sight of highly-tuned athletes taking the plunge into a lake at the start of a triathlon. And there really is nothing better than being at one with nature at venues such as the Highgate and Kenwood Ponds in north London, which are open year-round while elsewhere in the capital the likes of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, Hampstead Pond, and Parliament Hill fields are only open during the summer. Admittedly, it hasn’t got the appeal of a dip in a cenote in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula but, in these travel restricted times, it’s better than nothing.

indoor climbs, you can take the plunge with snorkelling or diving sessions, indoor skydiving or take the zip wire and high ropes challenge. Individually, there are other indoor skydiving centres in Manchester, Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, Bristol and Bedford – will it inspire you to do the real thing? – while there are several zip wire parks dotted throughout the country, although if you want a one-off mega-thrill, try Zip World’s Velocity 2 at Bethesda in North Wales, reputedly the fastest in the world (100mph-plus) and the longest in Europe (1,555 metres).

Similarly, rock climbing has a touch of the exotic about it but you don’t have to travel to distant lands to learn or expand your skills-base. Many leisure centres have their own customised indoor rock walls for anyone wanting to learn the ropes while Fairlop Country Park in Barkingside has a boulder park where nine individual concrete constructions have been created to test climbers of all standards and abilities. Of course, if you fancy an adrenalinfuelled experience but want to sample a range of activities, get your name down for the Big Five experience at the Bear Grylls Adventure park in Marston Green, Birmingham. As well as some tricky

Alternatively, if there’s nothing there to get your heart pumping, surf the internet. Surf. Surfing. Now there’s a thought …

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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BURNS NIGHT

THE BELOVED ANNUAL TRADITION January doesn’t stop there. Burns Night, as you perhaps already know, is celebrated in the name of the great poet, Robert Burns, every January.

Robert Burns is a national icon and beloved Scottish hero, but do you know why?

But who is this Robert Burns, and why is he celebrated more prominently over other influential poets? What are the traditions, you might also ask, of Burns Night? Prepare to be enlightened with words of wisdom and wonder, to show you just why Robert Burns is hailed every year as one of the greatest, most important poets ever to have graced Scotland. What is Burns Night and how is it celebrated?

Burns is perhaps best known for his poem come song ‘Auld Lang Syne’

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PROPERTY NEWS

Poetry is far from dead, and so is Scottish tradition, especially when it comes to this poet who forever changed nations’, ways of thinking. Once the magical Christmas dust has settled, and the New Year’s celebratory confetti has finally fallen to rest,

Burns Night – or more specifically a Burns Supper – is celebrated every year on the birth date of the great Scottish poet, 25th January. Occasionally also called Robert Burns Day, Burns Night can sometimes occur on any other night of the year, but typically the celebrations are held


on or around the 25th January. The strict traditions of Burns Night consist of toasts, recitals of a Burn’s poem, ‘Address To A Haggis’, followed by someone cutting into and serving a haggis with turnips and potatoes, and everyone washing it down with some warming Scotch whiskey. But who exactly was Robert Burns and why is he celebrated? Robert Burns (or better known as Rabbie Burns to the Scots) was a Scottish poet and lyricist and is generally regarded as the national poet of Scotland. He famously wrote much of his work in the Scottish language, although his work in modern times has been translated into English for the purpose of accessibility by a wider, more mainstream audience. Burns is especially admired for his particularly blunt political and civil commentary, and became, after his death, a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. But he is also widely

recognized as a pioneer of the Romantic Movement in poetry, writing in the same era as other founding Romantic poets. In fact, Burns influenced the likes of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley greatly. In the early twentieth century, Burns had a particularly strong influence on writer Hugh MacDiarmid. Burns was born on 25th January 1759, near Ayr, in Alloway, and was the eldest of seven children. His father, a farmer, had built the house Robert was born in, and this house is now officially the Burns Cottage Museum. The Burns’ lived here until Easter 1766 when a seven-year-old Robert Burns moved with his family to a 70-acre farm, Mount Oliphant. He began writing in approximately 1784 when he was around 25 years old. He was only an occasional poet at this early stage, more often turning his hand to verse in which he would express his emotions of love and friendship, but also amusement and his ironic

contemplation of the social scene. He started gaining recognition as a poet, however, approximately a couple of years later, and his life thus soon became rich with wine, women and song, gaining wider fame all over Scotland. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the celebration of his work became almost a national charismatic cult and has since held prominent influence over his fellow Scots and Scottish literature itself. In 2009 in a TV vote on who is the greatest ever Scot, the public voted for Robert Burns. Burns is perhaps best known for his poem come song ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year). Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include ‘A Red, Red Rose’, ‘A Man’s a Man for A’ That’, ‘To a Louse’, ‘To a Mouse’, ‘The Battle of Sherramuir’, ‘Tam-o’-shanter’, and ‘Ae Fond Kiss.’

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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THE HOTTEST

NEW BOOKS

TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS YEAR! 2021 promises to be a literary gold mine. Here we take a look at the books have got us excited this year

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020 brought us some fantastic books. Whether it was a non-fiction autobiography such as Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, or the prequel to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or something more political such as A Promised Land, the memoirs of Barack Obama, we were never short of great reads throughout. And this year promises even more.

THE CHARMED WIFE BY OLGA GRUSHIN Here is a wildly inventive and thoroughly modern retelling of Cinderella, and what happens after she marries Prince Charming. Spoiler, he’s not so charming after all! This book, Grushin’s fourth novel, promises to be a genre-bending and darkly comic affair. Release date: January 12th

A BRIGHT RAY OF DARKNESS BY ETHAN HAWKE Ethan Hawke isn’t just an Oscar-nominated actor and screenwriter. This is his fifth book in which a 32-yearold thespian’s private life is not so private when he is besieged by journalists at every turn. It is about his possible path to personal and professional redemption and portrays the perils and pratfalls of celebrity perfectly. Release date: February 2nd

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PROPERTY NEWS

APATHY BY JONATHAN WHEATLEY Up and coming, British horror writer, Jonathan Wheatley, returns to finish off his Westford Chronicles trilogy. The first two books, The Priory and Vermin were both in the Top 5 British Horror books on Amazon during the summer and the epic conclusion to the gothic, time-travel, creature-feature trilogy promises to be bigger and better.

Release date: April 27th

YOU LOVE ME BY CAROLINE KEPNESY Your favourite murderer, Joe from the ‘You’ Netflix series, isn’t quite finished with his story. In this third book the TV series is based on, Joe ditches city life for a simple existence in the Pacific Northwest. There, of course, he gets a job at a library and meets a woman. You know the rest by now. Release date: April 2021


ON YOUR MARKS… A

COVID-permitting, 2021 should be an outstanding year of sport

fter the famine, comes the feast. The COVID-19 pandemic shredded the global sporting calendar in 2020 with major events simply binned or shunted back to this year which would normally have been fallow, a breathing space between the big competitions.

And if you can’t get enough of track and field heroics, the Paralympians will take centre stage from August 24th to September 5th – also in Japan – while the postponed Invictus Games will be held in the Netherlands from May 29th to June 5th.

So, although fingers still remain firmly crossed, 2021 should be something of a sporting bonanza.

The other major casualty from last year was football’s European Championship, for the first time spread across 12 countries instead of one host nation. It is scheduled to start on June 11th with the Group A pipe-opener Italy v Turkey in Rome and finish with the final at Wembley on July 11th.

The cherry on an adrenalin-charged cake remains the summer Olympic Games, slated to run from July 23rd to August 8th in Tokyo. It is quite simply the greatest show on Earth, a glittering showpiece commanding eye-watering figures for advertising and commercial rights, played out before a worldwide television audience of billions. This year there will be no Usain Bolt, the charismatic Jamaican sprinter whose name became synonymous with world records and gold medals. He retired in 2017 leaving the Olympic throne vacant for a suitable successor … and that could be Team GB’s swimming superstar Adam Peaty.

Wales and Switzerland complete that group – they play on June 12th in Baku – while England’s Group D campaign starts on June 13th at Wembley against Croatia, who beat them in extra time in the World Cup semi-final in 2018.

So, although fingers still remain firmly crossed, 2021 should be something of a sporting bonanza.

Much is expected of the 26 year-old 50 and 100metre breaststroke ace, who is the Olympic champion at the latter – the first Briton to strike gold in the pool for 24 years. He is also an eight-time world champion, a 12-time European champion and has broken world records 13 times, and was the first man to swim under 26sec for the 50m breaststroke and both 58 and 57sec for the longer distance. Put simply, he is the one to beat and if he is not a household name now, he will be by the middle of August.

It doesn’t get any easier for Gary Southgate’s team. Scotland await on June 18th - a Friday night appetiser for a long weekend in London for the Tartan Army - before they finish against the Czech Republic four days later.

Golf’s Ryder Cup was also COVID-affected and had to be rescheduled (it’s now at the wonderfully-named Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in late September) while elsewhere other events, hopefully, return to their normal slots: Rugby’s 6Nations running from February 6th to March 20th; the Cheltenham Festival (March 16th-19th), World Snooker Championship (April 17th-May 3rd) and Wimbledon (June 28th-July 11th). In fact, the only event which is not in its normal place is the Boat Race. Oxford and Cambridge Universities will now lock oars on the Great Ouse at Ely in April instead of the Thames because of structural problems at Hammersmith Bridge.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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NEW BEDROOM

DIY

AND DECORATING IDEAS

It’s the New Year, which means new beginnings. Now is the perfect time for a change of scenery within your own four walls. So if you fancy giving your bedroom a makeover, but are stuck on ideas, here are a few ways to transform your own personal space.

PICK A TONE

An idea that’s rather simple, but makes a statement, is ensuring that your bedroom has a specific tone throughout. You can do this by making your colours marry. For example, if your bedsheets, or headboard are a certain colour, then choose to pair your walls accordingly through wallpaper or paint. And go a step further, and pick suitable bedroom furniture, like a bedside table, or a lamp. If you go for a brighter tone, then this keeps the space bright, whilst maintaining a sense of sophistication. If you’d prefer to select darker tones, then you can really add a feeling of warmth to your room. And this doesn’t mean making every colour exactly the same. By avoiding selecting the same colour for every aspect of your bedroom, this can help you to avoid feeling boxed in.

MODERNISE

If you fancy a real change from the norm, then make your bedroom a statement space. One way to accomplish this is to go minimalist. Paint all your walls and doors white, and then contrast this with warm colours for the bedding. Also consider your lighting. Design-forward lighting can really help to add some class to proceedings, whilst keeping a homely atmosphere. And

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PROPERTY NEWS

with regards to furniture, why not go slightly quirky? Treat yourself to a frameless mirror or a metallic coffee table to really drive home the contemporary motif.

MAKE IT COSY

As we enter the coldest months of the year, perhaps it’s best to customise your living spaces accordingly. For starters, think about textures. If you want to add actual warmth to your room, add some cozy throws and fluffy blankets to your bed and really embrace the added layers. And don’t stop there. Complete your winter retreat and add an area rug. By having access to soft materials both in and out of bed, this creates a practical warmth, whilst also adding to the visible textures of the room. If you’ve already opted for these snug additions to your bedroom, perhaps think of the curtains. If you’re considering getting some new ones, then linen curtains add a sense of relaxation, whilst velvet ones really emphasises the luxuriousness of a space. And as for the length, why not splash out on long hanging curtains and allow them to puddle on the floor. This really creates a feeling of privacy to your bedroom in these cold months.


GET CREATIVE

If you’re on a tighter budget after Christmas then there is no reason why you still can’t give your room as effective a shake-up. Sometimes, all that’s needed to decorate a bedroom is to re-arrange furniture. For example, items like dining room or kitchen chairs can also function as a bedside table or as a useful seat beside the bed. So don’t be afraid to move it into your bedroom, re-paint it to match the colour scheme, and allow the room to look completely different. Or if your bedroom is seeming cluttered, then utilise cheap storage options. Your bedroom should feel relaxed and spacious, so opt for fabric storage bins and nesting baskets to keep everything tidy, whilst simultaneously adding some modernity to your space.

REARRANGE

It may sound almost too simple to mention, but rearranging your bedroom, and even other rooms in your home, can go a long way to transforming them. For instance, if the dimensions of the room permit, re-positioning your bed can make all the difference to adding a feeling of newness to your room. If you can manage to move your bed away from the walls, then you can use that new-found space to create a cosy reading area. If you have paintings, or other pieces of artwork scattered around your home, then why not move them into the bedroom? This can add a sense of flair to a wall without

having to get involved with paint or wallpaper. And finally, if you’re in the mood to brighten your room up, why not add some plants? Without impacting a budget too heavily, bringing some flora into your living space can add some much-needed colour, as well as substantial aromas.

Is your bedroom due an upgrade? Check out the hot, new trends for 2021

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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BAKE

YOUR There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread, and it’s not as tricky as you think either…

SOFT OR CRUSTY ROLLS Ingredients 500g strong white flour 20g caster sugar 10g salt 1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast 330g milk at room temperature Method In a large bowl, or electric mixer, weight the flour and caster sugar together. Then rub the salt into one side of the bowl and the dried yeast into the other. Don’t let the salt and yeast touch as it can stop the dough from rising. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and mix together until it forms a dough. Cover your bowl with a damp towel and rest in a warm place. If your house is cold, stick it in the oven at 25C with a bowl of boiling water underneath. Once noticeable increased in size, around 45 minutes, kneed the dough. You can do this on a floured surface or by folding the dough in the bowl for five minutes. Cover again and rest in a warm place for another hour or until doubled in size.

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PROPERTY NEWS

OWN BREAD B

aking your own bread is not only healthier for you, but it is a hobby you can really get stuck into. There is nothing better than seeing your dough rise and then finally breaking through the crispy crust to get at the soft, warm bread inside. Here are some simple recipes for you to try at home…

Once risen, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a sausage shape. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and then shape the dough into balls. The trick to a nice round ball is to put flour in one hand and put the dough on a surface without flour. Then cup your hand like your carrying water, turn it upside down over the dough and make big circular movements with the dough. Once you have 8 balls, rest for a final hour somewhere warm until they have doubled in size and are nearly touching. 30 minutes before you’re going to bake, preheat your oven to 210C for fan-assisted ovens or 230C for non-fan ovens for soft rolls, or 180C fan-assisted oven, 200C for crusty rolls. Bake for 10-15 minutes for soft rolls. Don’t worry if they look brown or feel crisp when they come out, they’ll soften up. And for crusty rolls, slash the top of the roll with a serrated knife before baking for 20-25 minutes.


Baker’s Tip: Add toppings like Sesame seeds or poppy seeds, or even rice flour and sesame oil to create Tiger Bread.

BAGUETTES Ingredients

For the poolish: 500g strong white flour 20g caster sugar 10g salt 1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast 330g milk at room temperature For the dough 300g plain white flour 200g strong white flour 12g salt 200g white sourdough starter (a bubbling mix of strong white flour and water. To make simply add 50g flour with 50ml of water every day for five days in a jar – warning it gets messy and bubbly) All the poolish 250ml tepid water

Method The day before you make your dough, combine the poolish ingredients in a bowl and cover loosely with cling film. The next day rub together both flours, yeast and salt, keeping the yeast and salt separate. Add the sourdough starter, poolish and tepid water and combine into a wet dough. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, trying to use as little flour as possible, and return to the bowl. Let the dough rest overnight in the fridge. Once rested, it’s shaping time. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll the baguettes out into sausage shapes. Don’t worry if they look thin, they will rise again. Transfer each baguette to a well-floured baking tray and rest again for 1-1 ½ hour at room temperature. Preheat your over to 220C fan oven, 240C non-fan. Once rested, score your bread with a serrated knife. You want to make thin slices across the top like you’re peeling a potato. If your serrated knife doesn’t work, try a Stanley blade. Turn the temperature in the oven down to 190C fan or 210C non-fan and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Baker’s Tip: Cook your baguettes for ¼ of the time to par-bake. You will then be able to freeze the baguettes for up to 11 weeks. When you want to use them again, just pop them back in your oven for the remaining time.

Images for illustrative purposes only

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

11


NEW MOVIE 2021

RELEASES T he pandemic prevented the usual array of blockbuster movies f rom being released in 2020. But as the world of cinema resumes, in this new year, here are a few films you should get excited about.

THE KING’S MAN - FEBRUARY 2021

Fans of the Kingsman series will be keen to catch its third instalment, which is a prequel, centering around the formation of the Kingsman spy agency. However, as this movie is set in the early 20th century, we can expect a completely different cast from the one which excited fans during the first two chapters. The cast is set be starstudded, starring Ralph Feinnes (Schindler’s List), and will also include household names such as Gemma Arteton (St. Trinians), and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill). Once more, the film was meant to be released in the autumn of 2020, but is now expected to be in cinemas in February.

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE FEBRUARY 2021

One for the musical fans to go wild for is this feel-good musical drama, based on the stage musical of the same name. The film stars Max Harwood as the inspirational lead character, who overcomes bullies and prejudice, to step into the spotlight, and express himself. The movie was originally scheduled to be released in October 2020, but is now due to be released in February.

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PROPERTY NEWS

IN

It promises to be a bumper year of cinema this year

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY - JULY 2021

Twenty-five years after the original family favourite, there is going to be a new Space Jam. Like the first one, the live-action will star a basketball legend, this time LeBron James. And for the first time since 2003, the Looney Tunes characters will appear on the big screen, joining James in an attempt to rescue his son. After the 1996 original became a cult classic, this is certainly not one you want to miss.

A QUIET PLACE PART II - APRIL 2021

This tense horror, which is a sequel to the hugely-successful A Quiet Place, will be released in the early part of this year. With the plot following on from the end of the first movie, we again arrive in a world where silence is the only way to survive. Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) will star, and will be joined by Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders). John Krasinski, who starred alongside Blunt, and directed the first instalment, will be directing this one too.


CLEAN-UP OPERATION

T

he decorations are down, the tree has gone leaving only a trail of pine needles as a reminder of what was there before. But while you’re on your hands and knees trying to extricate the fiddly remnants embedded in the carpet, have a quick look at the skirting boards: were they really that dusty when you put the tree up?

And where did that cobweb come from? Obviously decking the hall and garlanding the fireplace have prevented you from doing the housework for a while, so as the house is looking a bit bare, with some items of furniture out of position, now could be a good time to have an early spring clean and freshen up, making your home clean, comfortable and clutter-free as you prepare to face the new year. So, if you’re feeling brave there’s no better place to start than clearing out the loft because, after all, you’re already there putting the decorations away.

how on Earth you are going to get your new cardi in there? Be ruthless: yes, we’re all guilty of hoarding but if you don’t wear that top you bought five years ago, let it go to the charity shop. It’s not going to come back into fashion, regardless of what you think. If there’s a bright day, make it brighter by cleaning the windows. Not just the glass, but the sills and, in particular, the frames, checking for mould around seals which could ultimately hamper the effectiveness of double glazing. And don’t forget the blinds. Or the radiators,

where dust can congregate on the pipework and all those hard to reach places. And so to the kitchen, to clean shelves, rid the cupboards of all those tins and packets that are past their ‘use by’ dates … and to tackle the oven, which has probably seen a lot of action in the last month and could use a deep clean and refresh. Outside, there is not much that can be done. Continually check gutters for blockages caused by trapped leaves – any build-up of water in a freezing spell could prove costly – and make sure paths are kept clean and moss-free: they can become extra slippery with a frost on them.

But, if you can’t face that just yet, start at ground level wiping down the skirting boards and laying masking tape to clean the edges of the carpet that are starting to look a little bit grimy. And as you’ve got the vacuum out, get under the sofa and chairs as well as all those neglected areas such as underneath the bed and the mattresses. While in the bedroom, dare to open the wardrobe and consider

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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NEW SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO ANTICIPATE IN 2021 Last year we saw the rise of Zoom and the importance of Facetime to families and friends, but what should we expect this year in tech?

W

hether it’s much-needed socialising time with one’s family and friends or simply playing video games, the nation has been spending an unprecedented amount of time online recently. Social media has experienced another massive boom this year, as have Facetime and Zoom video chats. 3.6 billion people in the world are now connected to social media in some way. That’s just shy of half of the entire world’s population. So social media has never been

so important. It’s a valuable tool businesses all around the world will be using more to promote themselves and engage with their customers, not to mention firms which will be looking to resurrect, or start-up from scratch entirely. Therefore it’s vitally important one understands how things will likely be changing on social media in the New Year – whether it’s different marketing techniques or new and innovative ways of reaching out to audiences across the globe, the climate is definitely changing.

TOP CHANGES AND NEW TRENDS TO EXPECT IN SOCIAL MEDIA.

3.6 billion people in the world are now connected to social media

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PROPERTY NEWS

»

The rise of video on social media. Previously social media was great for pictures and words, however, now, as expected, video is taking a stronger position in the market, especially with YouTube and for estate agents, virtual video tours and valuations.

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SEO-driven organic Instagram visibility. Instagrammers are here to stay, and in November it was announced that Insta would be more search-friendly for its millions of users. This will make hashtags even more important for your marketing as well as keywords in your posts.

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Reels on Instagram. In 2016 when Stories on Insta were first released there was a massive drop-off in feed engagement and similarly, when Reels were first introduced, the engagement with Stories dropped off. Now is the time to embrace short-form video going into 2021.

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Humanize brands. Smart businesses will understand the importance of being transparent and authentic moving forward. People connect with people, so expect more faces to personify brands as opposed to just a logo without a human face to accompany it.

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Similar to the point above, on YouTube expect personality over content. For those of us who watch YouTube videos, having a trustworthy face as the front of your brand will reap the benefits this year.


ZOOM Amongst all the great technology we've been able to rely on throughout the past year, Zoom is by far the one that has had the most positive effect. With working from home becoming compulsory for many nations around the world, the globe zoomed in on one particular video communications software, which has proven to be a fundamental aid to our lives. April saw Zoom peak at over 300 million daily meeting participants, which was a staggering increase from the ten million in December 2019. Its "annualised meeting minutes" jumped 20-fold, from 100 billion at the end of January to over two trillion in April. For the quarter ending 30th April 2020, Zoom reported total revenue of $328.2 million, a 169 per cent increase from the same period last year. More and more companies are reportedly going to make working from home a more normal concept, with Zoom expected to play an intrinsic part in many of our working lives going forward. Whether you are quizzing with family and

friends or working from home, Zoom will surely be the first name on everyone's lips again this year‌

THE ONLINE PROPERTY WORLD This year, the property market has experienced record-breaking months and a considerable boom. Estate agents have taken advantage of social media with the most successful agents utilising Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for not just marketing properties, but for being a hub of local support for the community. With technology such as 3D virtual video tours, Zoom and smartphones, agents have been able to conduct virtual valuations and viewings which have led to more sales.

Zoom is by far the one that has had the most positive effect. With working from home becoming compulsory for many nations around the world,

Expect virtual video tours, valuations and even viewings to be at the forefront again in 2021, as with people busier than ever, it is a great way to showcase the properties on offer and build a relationship with the local community.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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ÂŁ525,000

Verney Junction

A three bedroom period property situated in a rural location with west facing country views to the rear aspect. The property has been improved by the current owners and includes new oil to radiator central heating, whilst the landscaped gardens include access via electric gates, a brick built garden office, and a good size fully insulated garage/workshop. The accommodation comprises: Entrance hall, sitting room with log burner, kitchen open through to a dining/family room, cloakroom, utility room, master bedroom with en-suite shower room, two further bedrooms, first floor study, family bathroom. Energy rating D.

ÂŁ725,000

Thornborough

A four double bedroom, detached family home in the desirable village of Thornborough and offered for sale with no onward chain. The property has been extended by the current owners to provide spacious and flexible accommodation and comprises: Reception hallway, study/playroom, sitting room, open through to the dining room with French doors leading out onto the patio and rear garden, a good size kitchen/breakfast room with integrated appliances, a separate utility room with access to the integral garage and a ground floor cloakroom. On the first floor, bedroom one with built in wardrobe and en-suite shower room, guest bedroom also with built in wardrobes and an en suite shower room, two further double bedrooms and a family bathroom. To the front aspect; block paved driveway for several vehicles and enclosed west facing garden to the rear and further garden space to the side. EPC rating awaited. No upper chain.

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Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

£450,000

Towcester

An imposing Grade II listed three storey period stone townhouse built in 1836, tucked away a short walk from Towcester’s town centre. The property was formerly a workhouse which was converted in 1985 and sits within highly attractive, spacious communal grounds. This beautiful, comfortable home has been created by the current owner to a high standard and retains its many character features. There are two garages available, a fitted kitchen including ‘Bosch’ integrated appliances, a ground floor shower room and delightful landscaped rear garden. The ground floor accommodation comprises: Entrance hall, shower/cloakroom, kitchen/dining room with utility area, rising to first floor sitting room, study area and bedroom three, rising to two further second floor bedrooms and family bathroom.

£344,995

Tingewick

Rarely available, situated on a corner plot a three bedroom detached bungalow opposite the church in the village of Tingewick. The accommodation comprises: Kitchen breakfast room, sitting room, conservatory, three bedrooms and shower room. Potential for off-road parking and wrap-round garden. The property is in need of some modernisation and available with no upper chain. EPC rating D.

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£875pcm

Buckingham

Well presented two DOUBLE bedroom character cottage situated in Buckingham Town Centre within EASY ACCESS OF LOCAL AMENITIES & BUS STOP. The property BENEFITS FROM NEWLY FITTED CARPETS & BEING RE-DECORATED while boasting character features throughout and feature fireplaces. The accommodation briefly comprises; entrance, living room with feature inglenook fireplace, dining room with feature fire place, kitchen which includes appliances. To the first floor; bedroom one with built in wardrobes, further double bedroom and bathroom with shower over bath. To the outside split level garden with raised patio & timber decked seating areas. COUNCIL TAX BAND B. EPC RATING D. NO PETS. AVAILABLE NOW.

£725pcm

Brackley

Immaculately presented one bedroom end of terrace cottage, completed to a high standard providing a fine balance between modern contemporary living and character features. Situated within a short walking distance of Brackley town centre, local amenities & within a 20 MINUTE DRIVE OF BICESTER NORTH TRAIN STATION. The property briefly comprises; entrance, lounge/diner, kitchen with door to covered bike store, downstairs shower room, glass paneled stairs rising to the first floor double bedroom. NO PETS. EPC RATING D. COUNCIL TAX BAND A. AVAILABLE NOW.

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Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

£1,295pcm

Buckingham

Well presented three bedroom LINK-DETACHED house situated on the popular Badgers development, the property is situated within WALKING DISTANCE OF THE TOWN CENTRE & IN CATCHMENT FOR LOCAL PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS. The accommodation briefly comprises; Entrance, downstairs cloakroom, study, living room with gas fireplace, open through to dining room, conservatory, spacious kitchen with side door to rear garden. To the upstairs, master bedroom with wall length fitted wardrobes, further double bedroom and single bedroom, shower room with corner shower cubicle. To the outside; lawned front garden, established rear garden with timber decking, single garage & driveway parking. COUNCIL TAX BAND E. EPC RATING D. NO PETS. AVAILABLE BEGINNING DECEMBER

£1,700pcm

Buckingham

A spacious five double bedroom detached family home situated on the desirable Tudor Meadows development, conveniently located being within walking distance of local schools, park and town centre. The property briefly comprises of a downstairs cloakroom, spacious family room, lounge, dining room, open plan kitchen/breakfast/family room and separate utility room. Upstairs there are five double bedrooms with one having an ensuite bathroom featuring bath and separate shower cubicle and a further family bathroom. Fully enclosed rear garden laid to lawn with patio and side gate access. To the front is driveway parking. The Landlord will consider one small pet, please note that if a pet is accepted then the rent will increase by £25pcm. COUNCIL TAX BAND F. EPC RATING C. AVAILABLE BEGINNING JANUARY

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MEET THE TEAM... Brian has been an estate agent since 1983. He runs the successful Buckingham Branch whilst also overseeing our superb lettings team. Brian maintains the most important people in his business are his staff as this transfers into excellent customer service. His hobbies include watching Formula one and is an avid Chelsea fan.

Director Nick has over 30 years experience in the property industry working for Corporate Firms and has been Co Director of Russell & Butler since 2002. Every home is different, every home is important, moving home can be one of the most stressful times, Nick is committed to making this task as easy and as stress free as possible, hopefully even enjoyable... Nick enjoys spending time with family and friends, enjoying a glass of wine and learning modern foreign languages.

Nicholas Butler

Brian Russell

MNAEA, Director

Cheryl Oxley

MNAEA, Branch Manager Cheryl has worked for Nick and Brian at Russell and Butler since day 1. Joining them 15 years ago, as a weekend Sales Negotiator, and with hard work and dedication, Cheryl has progressed through the ranks, qualifying as a member of the National Association of Estate Agents 8 years ago, and is now the Branch Manager. Cheryl’s previous career, pre-children was in Hotel Management where she quickly identified how important good customer care, communication and service is. Communication is key when buying and selling properties, alongside identifying and understanding people’s needs and motivations. Cheryl believes that Brian, Michelle and herself are the strongest sales team in Buckingham, working closely together to provide the overall experience that Russell and Butler provide. Out of work, Cheryl enjoys spending time with family and friends, going for long walks and is partial to the odd glass of Prosecco!

Michelle (AKA Mush) joined Russell & Butler in March 2014 as a Sales Negotiator, with a passion for delivering a high level of customer service and keen to change the perception of ‘Estate Agents’ she shortly went on to become Senior Sales Negotiator and a qualified member of the National Association of Estate Agents. Michelle believes success in estate agency is down to client satisfaction and reputation, trusting the agent you are buying or selling through is paramount. Michelle values residential properties within the area, conducts sales viewings and has an excellent understanding of buyers and sellers requirements, living locally her knowledge of the area is invaluable. Michelle enjoys good food and quality time with family and friends.

Michelle Jenkinson

MNAEA, Senior Sales Negotiator

Alice joined the team in 2019 as an administrator, quickly establishing herself as part of the team and making the role her own. She enjoys the busy atmosphere of the sales office and keeping everything organised and up to date. In her free time Alice likes to spend time with her family and friends & interior design.

Sales Progressor At Russell & Butler we only believe a sale is a sale once an exchange of contracts has been achieved. Tracey’s role is to communicate and chase all parties involved in the transaction, ie. Solicitors, Estate Agents, Vendors & Purchasers with the sole aim of reaching an Exchange of Contracts as quickly as possible, Tracey has been an Estate Agents and more recently worked in a Local Solicitor’s Office and therefore has gained a knowledge and understanding of the sales process which is second to none.

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Tracey Steventon

Alice Butler

Branch Administrator


Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Lyn Jopling

Sales Negotiator Before becoming an Estate Agent, Lyn used to work as a Customer Services Manager and delivered customer services training, working with independent Estate Agents and the NAEA. At that time, Lyn realised what she wanted to do and has never been happier since making the change! Lyn is somewhat obssessed with buying and selling property having bought and sold 13 times! Constantly inspired and enthused by the opportunity and adventure that a new property presents, she brings enthusiasm and energy to work. Lyn loves working on projects to improve her home and likes a good book and a glass of wine to relax with.

Rachel joined us in March 2015 as our Property Manager, having been in the industry for 9 years, progressing to Senior Property Manager in 2019 and in February 2020, took on the role as Lettings Manager, heading up our Lettings Department. Rachel’s main role now involves carrying out rental valuations and driving the business forward, together with overseeing the management of our rental portfolio.

Rachel Yates

Lettings Manager

Debbie joined the team in July 2013 and is the back bone of all of our general administration duties, which include managing the progression of all of our tenancy applications and preparing all paperwork for the tenants to move in on time, together with managing all tenancy renewals.

Senior Lettings Negotiator Matthew has been with us since February 2016 and has proved a valuable addition to the lettings team as it has grown to the level where we were in need of a dedicated member of staff to fulfill this role. Matthew manages our applicant database and conducts all of our rental viewings, negotiating lets between the landlord and the tenant and providing feedback to our landlords after each appointment so that they are always updated on the progress of marketing their property.

Matthew Russell

Debbie Rowe

Lettings Administrator

Shirley Taylor

Property Manager Shirley joined the lettings team in August 2020 as an additional Property Manager and, with 9 years experience in the Lettings industry, has a wealth of knowledge to bring to the lettings team. Shirley’s role is assisting in managing all maintenance related issues and compliance checks, together with ensuring that all of our Fully Managed properties are kept in good condition in order to protect our Landlords investments and achieve maximum rental income.

Annette’s early career was in Marketing and Magazine Publishing, returning to the UK from spending fourteen years in Australia, she changed direction and went into Property Sales and Management. Working as Lettings Manager for a local agent for some years, in 2011 she decided to start her own business providing Inventories, Check Outs and Sales Consultancy. Annette has now progressed into Property Management and is delighted to become a Property Manager, alongside Shirley, as a valued member of the Lettings Team.

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Annette Darby

Property Manager


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Here’s what our our customers have to say...

Certainly our experience with Russell & Butler as both a buyer and a seller was excellent. We were kept informed and supported through some difficult times. Our selling chain fell through and we felt very supported throughout.

David Buyer & Seller

I think Russell & Butler differ from other estate agents in the area because their level of service and response, especially their response time. They keep you informed at every stage even after the sale is made using they’re sales progressing service is fantastic.

Nigel Seller & Landlord russellandbutler.com


Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

“ With regards to recommending Russell & Butler, they are the only ones I would recommend.

In an estate agent we look for professionalism and good people which Russell & Butler have a lot of.

Nigel Landlord

Neil Landlord

What we look for in a letting agent is trust worthy, professionalism and good advice and we find all that with Russell & Butler. We would recommend Russell & Butler without any hesitation and have done that with a few of our collegues in the rental business.

Vartan and Sarah - Landlord

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still moving THE MARKET IS

Baby, it’s cold outside, but we’re still helping people move. Let us take the strain so you can concentrate on enjoying those special moments.

Buckingham 01280 815999 R&B_Stillmoving v2.indd 1

Bicester 01869 251754

Banbury 01295 710367

Brackley 01280 706832

russellandbutler.com 21/12/2020 16:56

Profile for thepropertycollection

Russell & Butler - January 2021  

Russell & Butler - January 2021