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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

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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

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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?

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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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Lloyd Place, Francis Road, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9HB

£475,000

PHASE 2 NOW LIVE - 66% SOLD (2 remaining)- SHOW HOME OPEN NOW - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - A stunning range of BRAND NEW 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom semi-detached homes set within an exclusive Town Centre, gated development of just 6 homes. Each home will come with a 10-year warranty, 2 car driveway, private rear garden and luxuriously finished kitchen and bathrooms. Set just a stone’s throw from the Historic Town of Ware and its High Street which has a vast selection of supermarkets, shops, pubs and restaurants as well as Ware Train Line with links into London’s Liverpool Street.

Charlotte Quay, Priory Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1RA

£650,000

PEACEFUL TOWN CENTRE LOCATION - AN OUTSTANDING 3-bedroom semi-detached town house with HERTFORD’S BEST ASPECT. River views left and right, views over the allotments, woodland and countryside. Views over the Victorian rooftops of Folly Island from 2nd floor balcony. MOORING RIGHTS. Level walk to the town, East & North BR, all amenities. VERY PRIVATE. Ground floor decked terrace, side access, Garage and parking!

simply-homes.co.uk


01992 558557 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Millers View, Much Haddam, Hertfordshire, SG10 6BN

£695,000

PLANNING PERMISSION APPROVED - AS GOOD AS NEW (just 2 years old) 4 BEDROOM, 3 BATHROOM SEMI-DETACHED FAMILY HOME WITH STUNNING RURAL VIEWS, a South/West facing private rear garden, large 4 car driveway and Planning Permission for a 2 storey side extension that would increase the house size by almost 50%. Set at the end of an exclusive cul-de-sac. Enter via the long entrance hall with wooden flooring, understairs cupboard and cloakroom, leading to the living room with bioethanol living flame fire, feature wall with recessed shelves and recess for TV or TV bracket and large front aspect window over looking the communal gardens.

simply-homes.co.uk


West Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG13 8EX

ÂŁ1,750,000

3700 sq ft - 6 double bedroom, 4 bathroom, 4 reception room beautifully presented Grade II listed Georgian town home, with later Victorian additions, situated within Hertford Town Centre, walking distance to two British Rail mainline stations providing regular services to London. There are 200-foot West Facing Rear Gardens with stunning rural and river views as well as exceptional sunsets. The property has been lovingly restored and modernised by the current owners and is a wonderful example of a classic town home with Panelling to Dado height, polished timber floorboards, coving to ceiling, period style radiators and an incredible variety of Sash windows in all shapes and sizes.

simply-homes.co.uk


01992 558557 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Ponsbourne Manor, Newgate street Village, Hertfordshire SG13

£795,000

COMPLETELY RE-FURBISHED TO AN EXACTING STANDARD - THREE DOUBLE BEDROOM 1st floor CHARACTER APARTMENT built within this late Victorian 1897 built Manor House in Ponsbourne. large receptions, TWO EN-SUITE, one cloakroom with double glazed sash windows, each one overlooking extensive COMMUNAL LANDSCAPED GARDENS and rolling countryside. LONG LEASE. Enter via the grand entrance hall with double height ceilings and wide swooping staircase up to the first floor past the huge windows overlooking the grounds. Once in the main entrance hall of the apartment there is a cloakroom off and multiple windows. Leading to the kitchen which has a range of base and eye level units, integrated appliances and great views, served by a dining room and utility room.

simply-homes.co.uk


Meet our Team REC

TOR

Having been at Simply Homes since its inception in 2010 I am overjoyed to have achieved my dream of taking over ownership of the business which I am so passionate about. I have some fresh ideas which I am

BEN S HA W

l

DI

confident will enhance an already successful operation previously lead by Steven Oates. I live only 3 miles from my office, with my wife and young daughter. With my wealth of knowledge of the local area and a wide spectrum of experience within the property market I base my sales success on providing accurate valuations, focussed energetic marketing, and great customer service to vendors and purchasers. The result ……. Guaranteed sales! My passion for photography and eye for detail makes your property stand out above the rest. My expertise covers all aspects including lifestyle, twilight, and aerial shots, ensuring I capture your home in every light and show it to its absolute best potential. Committed to selling your property for the best price, I am willing to go above and beyond to achieve that for you, and will always make myself available, delivering regular updates and a personal service from start to finish.

LINDA B RO

Linda most recently joined the team at the start of the year, bringing her expertise in sales progression, having

W N

started her career in the New Build sector, working with well known local developers including Berkeley Homes,

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Weston Homes, Beverly Homes and Taylor Wimpey.

SAL

Well experienced in valuations, sales and customer service, Linda is a valued member of our team, ensuring

ES N

we deliver the very best experience for our vendors and buyers. She prides herself on excellent and positive communication with clients, often going above and beyond to make the sales process as smooth as possible.

EGO T

Linda has lived in Hertford her whole life, and has excellent knowledge of the property market and local area. Passionate about keeping fit, you must ask her about her trek to Machu Pichu if you get a chance. Linda is

I started my estate agent journey at Simply Homes six years ago as a Saturday member of the team, using the extra money to buy our first home, alongside my full-time job in fashion buying. I worked as a fashion buyer for eight years using my creative flair dealing with and building relationships with suppliers all over the world. I left when I became a Mum and have worked 2/3 days a week at Simply Homes since. In June 2018 my husband, Ben, and I took over the business. Using my creativity, I look after

N RE

the marketing side of the business; Creating new branding to take Simply Homes forward as

A

process and having lived in Hertford all my life I have excellent local knowledge.

George is the latest addition to the Simply Homes team, and we are incredibly excited to get him up to

ORGE MA RK S l

speed with the high standards expected at Simply Homes. Having lived in Hertford his whole life,

GE

SA

starting his education at Duncombe School, then moving onto Richard Hale, George is a true

LES NEGOT

‘Hertford Boy’ and incredibly passionate about the Town. He began his career in teaching, taking on the role of PE teacher at a local Hertford Primary school and then moving onto Sales in Recruitment. He is still incredibly passionate about his physical fitness and attends the gym regularly, making the rest of us feel guilty first thing in the morning

IA

after he arrives to the office having already completed a hard workout! we expect that his most recent years and experience in the employment sector will transfer over to a long and fruitful career in the property market, resulting in many, many sales for our vendors.

simply-homes.co.uk

T

George is a bright, hard working and above all else, conscientious young man with an incredible drive,

R

U

a company. Having moved house four times in four years, I have a good understanding of the

O

S H AW l S AL E

R

O T I AT O R

TO

S

G NE

IA

friendly, warm, a joy to share an office with, and she looks forward to helping you with your move

L


01992 558557

Testimonials

CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Simply Homes is in a different league to all other agents we’ve been with, for us it’s the personal touch, the fact that everyone in the business is involved with the transaction and they always told us what was going on with our house

HANNAH & CAMELO

The brochure itself, when I first saw that, was phenomenal, I almost fell in love with the building before actually being in it, after seeing the video brochure, there was no way I wasn’t going to see what is now my home.

MATT & SARAH The level of service we received was always excellent, I had mobile numbers I could contact anyone whenever I needed to, and whenever I couldn’t get hold of somebody, they’d come back to me really quickly.

LESLEY & MATTY I would definitely recommend Simply Homes to my friends & family when it comes to selling a house as I had an excellent result of an asking price offer and an agreed sale within 9 days, which meant which meant we were able to move on and get the house we wanted.

POLLY I’d certainly recommend Simply Homes to all my family and friends, just because they are a very professional body of estate agents with personal service and give that little bit extra when it comes to finding a buyer.

PETER

I certainly would recommend Simply Homes, and already have, for their professionalism and understanding of what someone may be looking for.

SHELA

simply-homes.co.uk


Exclusively At Simply Homes

Giving you peace of mind every time Our innovative approach to marketing, together with our unrivalled customer care, makes us the right choice to market your property and guide you through your move

Selling your property

Exclusively to us in our area, your property will receive its very own FREE microsite showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and a property brochure. Sharing your personalised website across the social networks widens the audience for your property, to find the right buyer and increasing the chances of a quicker sale.

A leading independent agent covering Hertford, the name Simply Homes is synonymous with trust, excellence and integrity.

Our qualified database of home buyers will be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback.

With decades of experience, specialising in all aspects of residential property, our friendly, enthusiastic and professional service ensures that our clients continually return to sell and buy through us.

Quite simply we endeavour to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest possible time, providing you an outstanding service, with a personal and friendly approach.

When you choose to market your property with Simply Homes, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly. Whether selling or buying, relax and know that we have your property in safe hands.

We also recognise the importance of marketing, so your property will be advertised on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our window display.

As part of what makes us unique at Simply Homes we offer a free monthly magazine featuring properties and up to date market news. Call us today to receive our monthly magazine by emailing sales@simply-homes.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

sales@simply-homes.co.uk


The power of social media Your property will also receive its very own FREE property website showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and property brochures; something that we are proud to say is exclusive to Simply Homes in our area. In addition, our qualified database of tenants will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. All our tenants are fully referenced and vetted, making sure the highest of standards are met to find the right tenant for you. today VALUATION Book your FREE

TAP HERE

By sharing your personalised websites with family and friends across the social networks you will be widening the audience to find the right buyer or tenant for your property, increasing the chances of a quicker sale or rental.

£450,000

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Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides

COMMON MARKETING

Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)

Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services?

1.

UNIQUE with Simply Homes

Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers

ACTIVATE

2.

RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN

EXCLUSIVE PERSONALISED

SHARE

PROPERTY WEBSITE

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3.

SELL

Portals and websites

Then please feel free to pop in or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Rightmove featured property advertising*

Feature on our Facebook and Twitter

Property video

sales@simply-homes.co.uk

All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website


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.

T. 01992 558 557 W. simply-homes.co.uk

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Simply Homes - January 2021  

Simply Homes - January 2021