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The Village Breeze EDITOR Sheila J. Bethell MOBILE 0753 441 3055 SALES 01283 814214 EMAIL



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HELLO and Welcome from your Editor AND ANOTHER THING Tom Goes on a Date MURRAY CLARKE How Dare You! HEALTH Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month HOME & INTERIORS Playtime LOCAL NEWS Castle Medical Centre Update LIFE BEGINS Online Dating MOTORING First Ride : Honda VFR1200F GT DCT QUICK PUZZLE Garden Birds Wordsearch LOCAL NEWS Tower of Light Update QUICK PUZZLE Codeword GARDENING How To... Hedge COOK Thai Green Curry BAKE Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes JACKIE STUBBS From Weddings to Portraits - part 3 PUZZLE PAGE Time for a Coffee! KIDS PAGE Fun with Henry Hedgehog WHAT’S ON In and Around your Area

DISTRIBUTED TO... Appleby Magna, Coton in the Elms, Donisthorpe, Linton, Measham, Moira, Netherseal, Oakthorpe, Overseal and Snarestone.

Welcome MARCH 2017 / ISSUE 66


ello again and welcome…

Isn’t March a busy month for special days. On March 1st it is St David’s Day. Many years ago I lived in Wales and remember my daughter going to school dressed in her Welsh costume along with all the other boys and girls. It was a tradition that on this special day all school children donned the Welsh costume for school – what a pretty picture that was. March 17th is St Patrick’s Day and although I have never lived in Ireland I have visited, for a weekend in fact with friends to celebrate this special day, but I think the least said about that weekend the better! And moving swiftly on to the 26th we have Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday as we English call it and to the tradition of breakfast in bed. However, this is a far off distant memory for me – it’s now my daughter’s turn to receive the breakfast tray, I have to get my own – sound familiar! That bring us to the 26th Don’t forget to put your clocks forward 1 hour, because if you are waiting for breakfast in bed – well, it just might be a long wait! And with that thought I’ll sign off until next month. And the thought I will leave you with this month:-

DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE... 5th March, 2017.

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

SOLE DISTRIBUTION... 8,500 copies monthly.

Until next time… Our cover image celebrates... All mums from all walks of life... Wishing all our mothers, mums, mams and moms a very happy Mothering Sunday this month.


MARCH 2017 | 03



Tom goes on a

ast Wednesday morning chez Hughes witnessed that most unusual of events - both sarah (My Dearly Beloved) and I had the day off. anticipating fierce negotiations regarding the use of our precious spare time, I decided to revert to my default position - that of immediately giving in. that way, the dreaded schlep to the retail park and the subsequent feigning of interest in soft furnishings would be over much more quickly. But sarah had a surprise up her sleeve. “Tom, you don’t really want to go to the Outlet Village today, do you?” spotting an escape route, I decided to bide my time and not break for cover too early. “I don’t mind darling… what did you have in mind?” “Well, I’ve been reading a book all about relationships - don’t look at me like that and I’ve decided that today we should do something that we haven’t done in ages and please wipe that smirk off your face. So… why don’t we.... go the cinema? You know, like a proper date?” I began to cheer up at the thought of an afternoon immersed inside a suspenseful twisty plot, but then it hit me - what awful saccharine-soaked weepy would I be forced to endure? “Yes but which one darling? We’re spoilt for choice.” “Me Before You?” “Right, that’s enough about our marriage, what film do you fancy seeing?” I queued in the vast foyer of the multiplex for some cola and popcorn. Eventually the spotty youth behind the counter advised me (for an extra thirty pence) to go large. after I acquiesced he presented me with a vast carton of pop which looked like it had been donated from the set of The Borrowers. I popped my head to one side of the enormous plastic cup and said to the acne ravaged young man, “You sure this is the biggest one?” as the confused assistant gave me a stare as blank as a starting pistol sarah, suitably armed with comestibles, dragged me towards screen 8. Blissfully the auditorium was almost empty, meaning we could enjoy the film without the dreaded witterings of garrulous cinema



goers. after an infomercial from some american about turning off one’s phone, the lights dimmed and the BBFC notice appeared. then - my worst nightmare - a shaft of light as the screen doors opened to reveal two scruffylooking couples, laden with nachos, hot dogs and all other matter of junk. I groaned as they fell up the stairs and plonked themselves noisily behind our seats. “The greasy smell I can just about cope with, I just pray they will keep quiet,” I said. “Those hot dogs don’t smell too bad.” “I wasn’t talking about the food.” the film began, as did the sniggers, the loud whispering and the crunching. the cacophony now unbearable, I decide to meet this egregious flouting of the rules head on. I did what any other polite Englishman would do: I tutted very loudly. “Tom, shush I can’t enjoy the film.” “Well I can’t make head nor tail with that lot jabbering on.” there was only one thing for it - time to deploy the icy stare. Useless. the inane blather continued unabated. I couldn’t cope any longer. Our date was turning into a disaster. suddenly I stood up and announced in a loud voice, “Sorry Sarah, but I can’t do this anymore.” With a glare at our noisy neighbours, who immediately began nudging each other, I flounced down the aisle and flopped into a seat at the front. as the credits rolled at the end of the silly sugary movie, I wiped something from my eye and rejoined my wife who, resisting my attempts to link arms, strode off towards the exit. It was only when sat back in the car that the full extent of spousal wrath was unleashed. “Well that wasn’t embarrassing at all, was it?” “Listen dear, you shouldn’t care what people think. Anyway, it’s not like we knew anyone.” “Oh really? Well look at this on my Facebook: ‘Hi Sarah, hope you enjoyed the film! By the way, how are things at home?’” From the look on my Dearly Beloved’s Face the answer was clear - icy!

Tom Hughes is a writer from the North of England. Follow Tom’s escapades at Twitter @groomsdaybook 04 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE

MARCH 2017 | 05




Dare you!

EBastIan swung his Jaguar sports car into the company car park, slammed on the brakes and came to a shuddering halt. He couldn”t believe his eyes! someone had parked in his, HIs allocated parking space. How dare they! It was clearly marked out on the tarmac in white lettering two feet high: a-R-s-E. Most of his colleagues knew that the initials spelt out his job title: assistant Relaxation and style Executive – but no one had the foggiest idea what he actually did! Eventually, sebastian found one remaining available space - on the far side of the car park. With the greatest difficulty, he manoeuvred his pride-and-joy into the narrow gap - barely wide enough for a motorbike, let alone a motorcar. Cursing under his breath, he opened the driver’s door ever so carefully, and squeezed out. He slammed the door shut, stabbed at the button on his key fob, and stormed off across the car park towards the building where he worked. the lift propelled him rapidly upwards to the fifth floor. Hardly waiting for the lift doors to open, sebastian stepped out into the corridor and strode purposefully towards the office at the far end of the passageway. He flung open the office door and swept into the room like a tormented tornado. the packed room fell silent. “Which one of you horrible little squirts has parked their car in MY parking space?” he boomed. silence. no one dared speak. somewhere, a biro rolled off a desktop, making a resounding clatter on the bare wooden floor. “Ah, Sebastian! Good morning. Glad you could make it.” the Boss was standing behind him, an amused expression on his face. “A little late, aren’t we?” “Some inconsiderate idiot parked their car in MY space and …” “Never mind that. My room – now!” Like a sheep, sebastian followed his Head of Department into the inner office. “Close the door behind you. Sit down.” the H of D cleared his throat, before continuing. “As you may be aware, there are changes afoot within the company. We’ve not been doing so well lately. Profits

are down and …” “But …” “Don’t interrupt. In a nutshell, we’ve recently been taken over by another company – a major player, and naturally, the new owners want to make a few changes.” “You mean I’m to lose my job? Made redundant?” squealed sebastian, in horror. “No – your job’s safe … for the time being.” sebastian breathed a sigh of relief. “So?” “So, the new bosses are looking at ways of saving money. One thing they’ll be looking into is company cars.” sebastian listened in silence, his mouth slightly ajar. “You currently drive a company car - a Jaguar, I believe?” “Yes.” “A very prestigious car. A very expensive car. An extravagance. It’ll have to go. We’re looking at 1.6 Mondeos at the moment. Very reasonably priced motors and economical to run.” “But …” Ignoring his feeble protest, H of D continued. “Another topic that is being discussed is the way the offices are run. The new owners believe that one of the reasons why we’re so inefficient is the layout of our offices. Too cramped. Not enough space. In a word – totally disorganised.” “That’s two words …” H of D glared back and gritted his teeth. “Their intention is to build a large single-storey extension in the car park to provide the necessary extra space needed to …” “Well, that’s good, isn’t it?” H of D paused and looked sebastian straight in the eye. “It does mean, however, that there will be fewer parking spaces available for staff cars. Employees below a certain salary grade will be required to park their vehicles in the nearby multi-storey. And that, I’m afraid, includes you, Sebastian. Your Jaguar will be taken off you - and replaced by a Ford. And you’ll no longer be permitted to park on company premises. “Oh, and by the way, Sebastian - that ‘inconsiderate idiot’ who parked their car in your space? … That was me! “Close the door on your way out.”

Murray Clarke is one of our local contributors. Email: 06 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE


MARCH 2017 | 07


MARCH 2017 | 09


Awareness Month



Ovarian Cancer

ROUnD 7,300 UK women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually and less than half are alive 5 years later. Yet early diagnosis can increase 5-year survival to 90%. that's why March’s Ovarian Cancer awareness Month is vital. Reducing Risk: Taking the contraceptive pill, having children and breastfeeding are all proven to reduce ovarian cancer risk.

TYPES OF OVARIAN CANCER about 90% of ovarian tumours are epithelial ovarian cancer, starting in the layer covering the ovary. around 1 to 2% of ovarian cancers are germ cell cancers, formed in the ovary’s egg making cells. Rare stromal tumours and sarcomas can also affect the ovary and a few ovarian cancers are primary peritoneal carcinomas, which develop in the membrane around abdominal organs. slow-growing borderline ovarian tumours do not grow into the stroma (supportive tissue of the ovary).

RISK FACTORS • Increasing age: Most ovarian cancer sufferers are postmenopause. • Faulty genes: 5 to 15% of ovarian cancers are thought to be caused by an inherited faulty gene, including BRCa1 and BRCa2, which also increase breast cancer risk. • Previous breast cancer doubles the risk, and pushes it even higher if you were diagnosed before age 40. • Infertility may increase risk, but fertility treatments are no longer believed to do so. there may be an increased risk of borderline ovarian tumours in infertile women treated with IVF. • Hormone replacement therapy (HRt) is linked to less than 1% of ovarian cancers. • Being overweight or tall: a BMI of 28 or over increases risk in premenopausal women but has no effect on risk in postmenopausal women. taller women also have a higher risk.

• Endometriosis • Using talcum powder between your legs is thought to increase ovarian cancer risk due to its irritant effect. • Smoking: the longer you’ve smoked, the greater the risk increase for certain ovarian cancers.

SYMPTOMS Ovarian cancer symptoms aren’t always easy to identify and may be mistaken for IBs (Irritable Bowel syndrome) or PMs (Premenstrual syndrome) symptoms in the early stages. However, if symptoms are new, severe, frequent or persistent (occurring most days for three weeks or more), you should see your GP immediately, although often, a less serious condition is to blame. Look out for: • abdominal swelling and persistent bloating. • Persistent pelvic and abdominal pain. • Difficulty eating, nausea and feeling full unusually quickly. • Back pain. • needing to urinate more frequently. • Pain during sex.

Remember that ovarian cancer is rare in women under 40, but that you should be particularly cautious if you are over 50 or have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

DIAGNOSIS Your GP may do some tests themselves or refer you straight to a specialist. You will be examined externally and internally to check for any lumps or swelling and will then have an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound scan. they’ll also do a blood test for Ca125, a protein that’s elevated in half of women with early stage ovarian cancer and 90% of women with advanced ovarian cancer (although other pelvic conditions and pregnancy can cause elevated levels too). they may also order a Ct or MRI scan. However, sometimes it’s impossible to diagnose ovarian cancer definitively without surgery.

TREATMENT Most women with ovarian cancer will require surgery. If your cancer is diagnosed early, you may only need the affected ovary and fallopian tube removed. More advanced cancers may need more extensive surgery, plus chemotherapy before and after, to treat cancerous cells and reduce reoccurrence risk.

Alison Runham is a freelance copywriter for more see 10 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE

MARCH 2017




F you have space for a dedicated playroom, or can allocate a section of another room, you can keep toys contained and your children happy – and it’s a great opportunity for some imaginative decorating, says Katherine sorrell. the key to designing a playroom is flexibility. Unless money and time are no object, frequent redecorating is simply impractical, so keep the basics plain and simple – neutral walls, floor and major items of furniture, with only the less expensive and easily changed items (such as blinds, cushions or storage boxes) themed to colours or characters. start by considering the major factors. Is the room just going to be a playroom, or will it double as a child’s bedroom, family dining room, adult living room or other? How much space do you have and what shape is it? Who will use it and how often? How old are your children? What are their likes and dislikes? What is your budget? sketching a floor plan on graph paper will help, as you may need to include one or more beds (plus room for friends to sleep over), a desk, seating, a 12 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE

music system and clothes storage, as well as space for books, toys, games, art and craft activities – and, of course, free floor space in which to enjoy the above.

PLACE AND SPACE the more space you can allocate to a playroom the better, as children love to be able to run, jump, hop and generally scoot around. not to mention the storage requirements. a light, bright room that doesn’t get too hot or too cold is ideal, preferably not too far from a toilet or from the kitchen or living room – it’s nice to be able to keep an eye or ear on what they’re up to. Direct access to outside space would, again, be ideal. Rather than a bland, box-shaped room, a space with interesting nooks and crannies, perhaps even different floor levels (within reason), will feed the imagination. DESIGN BASICS Floors should be non-slip, easily cleanable, hardwearing and not too hard underfoot. Wooden or laminate boards plus a soft rug (with an anti-slip mat beneath), vinyl, linoleum, cork or rubber are all ideal. If


www.themodernnursery. y com y.

you must have wall-to-wall carpet, go for an inexpensive one, perhaps with a texture or pattern that won’t show the dirt, and ask for it to be given a stain-resistant treatment before installation. When it comes to lighting, inset ceiling lights and high-up wall lights are better than floor or table lamps that could get in the way of games and be knocked over. that said, decorative lighting looks lovely, and if you choose one specifically designed for children, use the correct wattage of bulb and position it so that there are no trailing flexes, safety should not be a problem. You may choose to keep walls plain and direct all the interest towards furniture, lighting and accessories, or make them the focal point of the room, in the form of a specially painted mural. the latter looks gorgeous and a quick internet search will produce plenty of companies that will create one for you, but be careful that it won’t date. the alternative is to use framed pictures (your child’s own, maybe), removable stickers, or perhaps something more inventive such as artists’ canvases painted in bright blocks of colour, a camouflage net, flags, maps, blackboard or magnetic paint, or an entire wall of good-looking storage.

FURNITURE AND FUN When furnishing a playroom you can let your imagination run riot, but bear in mind that floor cushions and bean bags are probably a better (and less expensive) idea than miniature children’s sofas and chairs, which are quickly outgrown.

STORAGE always ensure that toys are easily accessible, not stuck on high shelves or stacked in inaccessible towers. Cheap and colourful plastic tubs are ideal for many toys, while Lego, plastic people, farmyard animals and other small things can go in appropriately sized storage boxes (you could recycle ice cream tubs or takeaway cartons). Depending on your child’s interests, you may also need storage/display space for elaborate railway or racing tracks, craft activities, pretend kitchens and shops, teddies, dolls and action figures and, for older kids, technology such as laptops and tablets. Last of all don’t forget peg rails, hooks and hanging fabric organisers – all invaluable space savers. MARCH 2017 | 13

Castle Medical Centre

Blood Pressure Reviews/Hypertension Please be aware that appointments for 6 monthly reviews need to be booked with one of our Practice Nurses not with a GP. Please let a member of our Reception Team know when you are booking this type of review so that they can get you the quickest appointment with the most appropriate member of the Practice Team.

Medication Queries In a bid to ensure we use our resources in the most appropriate manner the Practice is actively looking to recruit a Practice Pharmacist who will be based at the surgery and work as part of the Practice Team. The Practice Pharmacist is NOT a Community Pharmacist. Their role will be to deal with a broad range of tasks around medicines and prescribing and will have undergone extensive training to equip them for the role. As an expert in medicines and their use, they will play a crucial role in supporting our patients and helping the Practice Team with the medicines related workload. Some of the roles they will do are: • Annual Reviews of all medicines • Responding to acute medication requests • Prescription re-authorisations • Hospital letters and discharge notes • Liaising with community pharmacists • Medication queries

Mobile Numbers We are using mobile numbers more and more for text alerts, reminding you of your appointments, etc, so please remember to let you know if you have changed your number.

Castle Medical Group, 118 Burton Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, LE65 2LP.


MARCH 2017 | 15





Y sympathies were aroused the first time I met abby, a friend-of-a-friend who had recently moved to my neighbourhood after a divorce. aged 47, she had made the move in order to seek a different life for herself and her fifteen-year-old son.

However, two years later my sympathy began to wear a little thin, after she repeatedly turned up at my house bemoaning the lack of eligible men in her life. On every occasion I would remind her that online dating was her best option for meeting a new partner, but she remained stubbornly unmoved.

the process of online dating is very simple: just create a profile, check out potential matches, communicate with your chosen date and then arrange to meet. Given the scare stories we hear about fake profiles, romance frauds and stalking, abby was right to be cautious, but probably not to the point of spoiling her best statistical chances of finding love.

STAYING SAFE ONLINE It’s natural to feel a little nervous about meeting a stranger for the first time, but there are certain common sense precautions you can take to stay safe.

• Choose a username that doesn’t reveal who you are and don’t give away your surname, contact information, home address or place of work when first setting up your profile.

• Don’t give away too much information about yourself right away. take things slowly, sharing more

information when you feel comfortable to do so.

• never release financial information or give in to pressure to lend money.

• Meet in public and stay in public on your first couple of dates and always let a friend know where you are, and who you’re meeting.

SETTING UP A SUCCESSFUL PROFILE the UK dating site says that when registering with a site it’s important to answer questions accurately for the best possible chance of finding your ideal match. When writing about your personality they recommend reading other profiles for inspiration or asking a friend to describe your characteristics. For maximum impact, start the description with an eye-catching opening paragraph, using key words relating to your passions and interests.

the dating site Zoosk found that women get 60% more attention if their profile photo is taken indoors, while men get 19% more attention if theirs is taken outside, particularly if the photo includes other friends or involves an active pursuit. What do I have to pay? some sites are free to join, whereas an average paid-for site might cost between £13 and £50 per month. some online services charge considerably higher membership fees.

Are there sites specifically for mature people? You don’t have to restrict yourself to age-specific sites unless you feel more comfortable in doing so. two of the most popular sites for UK dating are and

the popularity of online sites has boomed recently with the addition of mobile apps, with 37% of people surveyed by smartphone manufacturer HtC saying they had met a partner via a dating app.

the message has finally got through to abby, who went on her first date through an online site last week. Unfortunately he wasn’t the man of her dreams, but she nevertheless enjoyed the date. thanks to that experience, she’s confident that it’s now only a matter of time before she meets Mr Right.

Kate McLelland is a freelance copywriter, creative writer, scriptwriter and fundraiser 16 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE


MARCH 2017 | 17

Model : Honda VFR1200F GT DCT Price : £14,599

Engine : 1,237cc, V4

Power : 173bhp, 128Nm top speed : 165mph MPG : 42mpg MOTORING



Ride : Honda VFR1200F GT DCT

LanCE at the handlebars of this Honda VFR1200F and it can take a while to notice something is missing – even hard-nosed bikers will struggle to spot that this sports tourer is lacking a clutch lever.

You see, this is Honda’s DCt automatic model, a sort of giant, grown-up twist and go scooter that’s not nearly as horrifying to ride as it might sound. Most bikers will find the idea of losing control of the gears and letting a computer do the shifting for them a cardinal sin – and I’ll happily admit I was one of them – but then I learned to live with the Honda, and you know what: I think most riders will find it hard to go back to a ‘normal’ bike again.

Hop on board the Honda and you’ll find the semi-automatic transmission doesn’t feel as far removed from a standard gearbox after all. the rider selects drive at the push of a button on the handlebars and that familiar ‘clonk’ of a bike’s gear being engaged is still apparent.

However, pulling away requires no slipping of the clutch or fumbling with your feet – you simply let the bike take care of swapping cogs and concentrate on riding. You can do it yourself via buttons on the handlebars, but chances are you probably won’t.

that paragraph won’t convince many bikers to change to a DCt any time soon, but I can assure you as a devout gear shifter I’ve quickly learned to love it. In fact, the VFR1200F has won me over in more ways than one. It helps that it’s got a glorious engine. the liquid cooled



V4 lump produces 173bhp and is good for 165mph. It sounds wonderful and as the revs increase your helmet is filled with an intoxicating warble. You’ll find it quite addictive.

On the road it feels stable and solid to ride. the confidence it inspires in the corners right from the off makes it an easy bike to get on with, and one you’ll want to use whatever the weather. Rarely do you ride a bike that feels as stable in the wet as it does in the dry, but this Honda certainly does.

the VFR is practical too. Our test model features luggage that comes as standard on the Gt model, which consists of a top box and panniers (£725 optional extra on other models). these are easy to operate with the ignition key and fit everything you’ll need for a weekend away, or will cope admirably with an ad-hoc trip to the supermarket. the heated grips (costing £250 usually but standard on this Gt) are a welcome addition too. they warm up quickly and lightly toast your fingers on colder morning rides.

the usual excellent Honda build quality is very much apparent. the fit and finish of the switchgear is beautiful and feels like it justifies the £14,599 price tag. the shaft drive is refined and convenient, reducing on cleaning rituals and cuts down on the need for maintenance.

there’s a lot to love about the VFR1200F. Once you get over the initial shock of not having to grab a clutch, the VFR really is easy to fall for. Practical, comfortable, incredibly swift and great fun – it’s very close to being the perfect all-rounder you’ve always promised yourself.

MARCH 2017 | 19


MARCH 2017 | 21


MARCH 2017

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MARCH 2017

| 25

Measham Tower of Light


On Friday 3rd February, there was a Presentation at the Church Hall of St Laurence Church, Measham, where the amount raised by The Tower of Light was revealed. The Tower of Light 2016 at Measham was to support a Community Project to raise money in order to locate a Defibrillator in a box at a central location within the village, accessible to anyone, which could be used in an emergency to save the life of someone who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

the lights on the tower of st Laurence serve as a reminder of those friends and relatives, who can no longer be seen at Christmas, because of one reason or another. It is because of this that more and more people feel that this is a comforting way to remember loved ones, and also assist the local Community to benefit as well.

Response to this Village Project has been magnificent, not only from our residents, but also from our local Companies. We have received large donations from Cameron Homes, Bloor Homes, Hewitt Robins International, BBCS Limited, Pickerings Plant Limited, AB Produce Limited & British Car Auctions.

the total amount raised by the tower of Light 2016 is Four thousand two Hundred & nineteen Pounds, so we will be able to supply, not one Defibrillator, but three, which is a wonderful result for our Community.

But that is not all. at present, the Cooperative is in the process of building a new supermarket in Measham. We have been informed that our Community Project is fully supported by the Cooperative, and there will be a further Defibrillator fitted outside the new supermarket, to add to those that will have been already fitted by the tower of Light funding.

We would like to thank everyone for those generous donations this last year, and will confirm the locations for the additional Defibrillators. the Community First Responders will be holding training programs to show that these life saving machines can be

Over the past few years, donations have been passed to the Marlene Reid association, the local First Responders, the Medical Centre and Measham Welfare Junior Football Club.

Our area is lucky to have a very active and supportive First Responders Group, and it is with the help of this team that we have been able to obtain terms which have allowed defibrillators to be purchased at discounted prices. However, the e cost of these special accessible boxes and the Defibrillators is in the region of £1,000.00, but there is also a further cost involved in fitting them. We were hopeful of being able to provide one, and believed that the Church Hall at st Laurence would provide a fairly central location for the Defibrillator. We were pleased to obtain Canon Vivien Elphick’s agreement to that. 26 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE

accessed d and d used d by b anyone. You Y never know, you may someday, with the help of a Village Defibrillator, help prolong the life of a person suffering a heart attack.

CODEWORD Each letter in this puzzle is represented by a number between 1 and 26. The codes for three letters are shown. As you find the letters enter them in the box below.

MARCH 2017 | 27



How To...

HERE is nothing better than a living boundary around or within your garden - bricks and fencing are all very well, but as far as lifting your spirits and keeping wildlife happy, it is difficult to beat a hedge. Hedges can take on many guises – they can look smart or informal, be neat and compact or thicker and sturdier, evergreen or deciduous and, if you want you can even include some hedging with pretty flowers. the options are many, the potential is huge - and now is an ideal time to plant a new hedge.

PREPARATION First, prepare the area in the same way you would for any other long-term planting: fork the soil over thoroughly, removing large stones, debris and pernicious weeds. this will eliminate anything that might make establishment tricky or subsequently reduce hedge growth. this preparation also helps to break up any compaction and to aerate the soil, making it a better place for plant roots. If the soil is either very sandy and light or very heavy with 28 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE


clay, then fork in well-rotted garden compost, manure or proprietary compost, as this will help to improve the soil’s texture and its ability to hold moisture and nutrients to just the right extent. at the same time incorporate a complete fertilizer. a young hedge will not create a perfect barrier for the first few years, so if you anticipate problems with next door’s pets or children breaking through you may initially need to use a less attractive barrier such as galvanized stock fencing. Don’t be tempted to plant right up against an existing fence, as the plants simply won’t grow well.

at this time of year, when hedging plants grow very little or not at all, you can create a hedge very effectively using ‘bare-root’ plants, but if you want to plant a hedge at any other time you will need container-grown plants. small pot-grown conifers, for instance, will have wellestablished roots and should thrive. If using pot-grown plants, carefully remove each plant from its pot just before planting, having watered them thoroughly first if the


compost is dry. the roots should not be too tightly packed in the pot, but if they are, tease them out firmly before planting. If you’re using bareroot plants, make sure that you’re ready to plant them as soon as they are delivered and that the soil is also ready and waiting.

THE DESIRED EFFECT It is essential to space the plants correctly to achieve the desired effect, and to make sure that you plant them properly if they are to get off to a good start and establish well. Once out of the pot, position the plant in the prepared soil, making sure that it is at the same depth as it was in the pot. If you’re using bare-root plants then make sure that only the roots are beneath the soil. If planted too deeply the plants will suffer and may even die; if planted too shallowly they will be more prone to drying out. Firm the soil around each so that it is in good contact with the roots.

Hedging plants generally need a spacing of about 30-45cm. For a much thicker or denser hedge it is often worth planting them 45cm apart, but using two parallel rows of plants,

positioned so that the planting is staggered like bricks in a wall. Once the whole hedge is planted, water the soil thoroughly to help settle the soil around the roots and so allow the plants to establish. On windy sites or with larger plants it may be worth using small, temporary stakes such as bamboo canes to stabilise the plants. For the hedge to grow well, it is essential that you keep it well watered, especially during dry or windy weather. the first 18 months is the most vital period.


• YEW - perfect for a formal, supersmart evergreen hedge.

• THUJA - makes a stunning conifer hedge for year round colour, and is not too inclined to be rampant! • BEECH - a deciduous plant that gives a good effect for much of the year because the gingery brown autumn leaves often last well. Both purple and green-leafed forms.

• HORNBEAM - similar to beech but with few leaves held over winter and more prone to mildew. Great as a neatly clipped hedge. • CYPRESS – the ‘Leyland Cypress’ is notorious, but kept well clipped and cut back regularly this does actually make a great hedge.

• PYRACANTHA - a very spiny evergreen plant excellent for keeping out unwelcome visitors, with pretty creamy-white flowers and redorange or yellow berries.

• PRIVET - the classic town hedge, which looks great neatly clipped and has evergreen leaves that make a good foil for nearby flowers.

• EUONYMUS - a useful evergreen with many forms, some variegated green and cream, others green and yellow.

• HAWTHORN - deciduous and potentially thorny too, perfect as an ingredient of a ‘native’ hedge and good for wildlife.

• BLACKTHORN - deciduous and very thorny, great for ‘native’ hedging and wildlife, with pretty white flowers followed by sloes - ideal for sloe gin drinkers but can easily get too vigorous!

Visit Pippa’s website to buy gorgeous UK grown vegetable plants accompanied by weekly advice emails from Pippa, or to peruse the really useful selection of Pippa’s favourite gardening items including pop-up crop covers, SpeedHoes, SpeedWeeders, raised bed kits, Nemaslug, pull-out EasyTunnels, signed books and lots more besides. MARCH 2017 | 29


MARCH 2017

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Thai Green


• • • • • • • • • • • •

This classic curry is great for a mid-week family supper – it’s quick to make and tastes delicious!

200g thai jasmine rice 1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced 2 tbsp thai green curry paste 1 large red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced 1 large courgette, sliced 450g chicken breast fillets, cut into chunks 400ml can coconut milk 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp fish sauce squeeze of lime juice 2 tsp nigella seeds


1 Cook the rice in a large pan of boiling, lightly salted water for about 15 minutes until tender, or follow the packet instructions.

2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes. stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. stir in the pepper and courgette and fry for a further minute.

3 add the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until no longer pink, stirring all the time. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. stir in the soy and fish sauces and lime juice.

4 Drain the rice and use a small heatproof cup or bowl to make four mounds of rice on warmed serving plates. sprinkle the nigella seeds on top and spoon the curry on the side.

TOP TIP... add a handful of freshly chopped

coriander leaves to the curry at the end of cooking time, if liked. Or for a spicier flavour, garnish with shredded red chilli pepper. 32 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE




Lemon Drizzle

Based on the classic lemon drizzle cake these tangy cupcakes are the perfect afternoon pickme-up with a cup of tea!


• • • • • •

175g unsalted butter, softened 175g golden caster sugar 175g self-raising flour 1tsp baking powder 3 large eggs 2tbsp lemon curd

For the topping • 100g granulated sugar • Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon


1 Preheat the oven to 180OC, Fan 160OC, Gas Mark 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper muffin cases. 2 Place the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until thoroughly blended and pale and creamy. Fold in the lemon curd.

3 Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Whilst the cakes are baking mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl.

4 Remove the cakes from the oven and leave for 1 to 2 minutes then spoon some of the sugar and juice mixture over each cupcake. Leave to cool in the tray - the sugar topping will go crisp on cooling.

TOP TIP... If you don’t have lemon curd use 1 to 2 tbsp of milk or soured cream and 2 tsp grated lemon zest instead. MARCH 2017

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From Weddings to...


HE third segment of our ‘tips to successful portraits’ covers Pets. to most folk a pet is part of the family and as such their portrait is important especially as they are with us for such a relatively short time.  However, that being said, photographing a pet is not easy.  It doesn’t matter how obedient man’s best friend is normally you can bet when you point a camera in their direction they will be anything but. With this in mind there are several things you can do to ensure you get that all important ‘ahh’ shot.

You will need to work quickly and keep the session short so as not to lose the animals attention.  Even the sleepiest of pets is unpredictable so I would recommend working on  ‘auto’ mode with a fast shutter speed (sometimes on phone cameras this will be indicated with the ‘sport’ icon).  I always focus on the animals nose which ensures the eyes are sharp. the instinct is to focus on the eyes but you need the nose and eyes sharp.  You also need a good light source.  Using flash with pets, unless you are in the studio, can be a problem as it will ‘spook’ them so again I would try to work at IsO 400 or above. I would also choose to select ‘continuous aF’ if you are shooting outside. this will ensure the camera keeps refocusing as they move around. as with baby and children’s portraits I always recommend getting down to the level of the animal.  Cat or dog, hamster or goldfish  it is always best to shoot them from their eye

level. Of course with larger pets, horses etc. this isn’t always possible. then,  you need to decide whether you want a head shot of full body and position yourself accordingly. Personally I am not keen on photographing horses.  I am wary of

them after being bitten as a child but I know people love their steeds and I have been asked to photograph them many times. I always use a long lens so that I don’t need to get too close. the shot you are looking for with a horse or a pony is the animal’s ears up so I make a clicking sound to achieve this.  as with any other portrait  an uncluttered background is essential although with horses you will almost always be outside so if you can use the stable door or a hedge as a background that works well.   Remember wide open skies in the background, if you are not careful with your exposure, can result in a dark image with the camera reading for the brightness of the sky.

instinctively want to rush towards it … sometimes with a generous lick on the lens which isn’t useful. an assistant is a godsend and if someone is patiently stroking the pet to gain their confidence you can usually focus and then at a given moment move the assistant back to get the shot. always let the animal sit, stand or lie as they choose this will make them more at ease. You cannot force a pose on a pet. as with horses, you are aiming, with dogs and cats to get the animals ears upright (unless it is a breed that doesn’t lift its ears like a spaniel) and I like to have their heads tilted inquisitively to one side so a child’s squeaky toy held behind your back will do the trick.  treats are not to be encouraged as once your have given one they will be more interested in the treats than sitting or standing for you. Cats can prove very  tricky especially if you are photographing one that doesn’t belong to you. then a long lens comes into play and you don’t have to get too close.  Giving them a cloth to hide under usually works but patience is required until they stop playing.

Once you have decided what type of image you are aiming for (either a head shot of a full body shot) trying to ‘pose’ a pet can be a nightmare.  Dogs that normal sit on command once they spot the camera pointing towards them will

Jackie Stubbs is a professional photographer based in Staffordshire. See 34 | THE VILLAGE BREEZE


Personally I feel the best pets portraits are when you fill the frame with the head of the animal or have a close up of the head so that you show the ‘expression’ on their face. Yes dogs and cats can have expressions. although you don’t want to have a dogs tongue lolling out of their mouth sometimes a ‘grin’ with their mouth open a little can look both amusing and cute.

Finally, having a pet with a member of the family is an excellent idea. not only will you have a ready made assistant but it will put the animal at ease and will hopefully help you make an image to treasure for years to come.

I hope the tips we have passed on over the last few months have encouraged and tempted you to pick up your cameras whatever your ability. these days with modern technology photography is a skill that is easily within the reach of everyone. However, with a little forward planning, thought and by following a few basic rules of composition you should be able to turn what previously would have been ‘snaps’ into photos you can be proud of. MARCH 2017 | 35



Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1-9, with no repetition.


7 8 9 10 12 14 16 19 20 22

Stylish (13) Talking (8) Remove (4) Soaked (7) Attacks with knife (5) Crawled (5) Scratched (7) Female sheep (4) Ten hundred (8) Support (13)

1 2 3 4 5 6 11 13 15 17 18 21

Wealthy (4) Sculpture (6) Motors (7) Protrude (5) Accompany (6) Achievable (8) Slinging (8) Dicken's character (7) Type of gun (6) Presume (6) Mixes (5) Zero (4)






PICTOGRAMS 1. The First Cut Is The Deepest 2. Sleep On It 3. Dream Ticket


MARCH 2017 | 37


THE DELTA HAWKS MODEL FLYING CLUB The Shoulder of Mutton 6 Chapel Street, Oakthorpe, Swadlincote, DE12 7QT. Telephone 01530 270436

the Delta Hawks meet every first Monday of the month. Everyone welcome - we fly planes, drones, helicopters and the like. For more information call steve’s Models on 01530 416827. COALVILLE BIG SPRING CLEAN 4th March, 9.30am Memorial Square, Coalville. Coalville Big spring Clean meeting at Memorial square, Coalville. FREE refreshments and cake for those who attend. Everyone welcome. RESONANCE CONCERT 4th March, 7.30pm Holy Trinity Church, Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Resonance - a fusion of celtic, folk and world influences with a twist of faith. also local guest singers. tickets are £8 each, children under 16 years £5. tickets are available from Christian aid reps or telephone 01530 467183 or on the door subject to availability. APPLEBY MAGNA WI 9th March, 7.30pm The Church Hall, Appleby Magna. appleby Magna’s Women’s Institute are pleased to present 'time healers' at their next meeting. the talk will be on Greek and Roman medicine with a makeup demo of the period. Guests are very welcome at the door. call anna on 01530 515290 for details.

BLACKBEARDS TEA PARTY - FOLK MUSIC 10th March, 8.30pm The National Forest Folk Club, Moira Miners Welfare Club, Moira. Blackbeard’s tea Party - Folk, Rock and everything in between. tickets are £10 and are available by telephoning 01676 540219.

‘STAR WARS : THE FORCE AWAKENS’ PG (13) 10th March, 7pm for 7.30pm Packington Memorial Hall, Packington. 30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the empire, Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku, finds a BB-8 droid. tickets available at the door: £4 per adult (£2 per child).

GRESLEY MALE VOICE CHOIR IN CONCERT 11th March, 7.30pm The Palace, High Street, Ibstock tickets are £8 each and are available from the Palace, by telephone 01530 262400 or 01530 260460 or 07399 417 995.

ASHBY CANAL ASSOCIATION PRESENTS... 13th March, 7.30pm Donisthorpe Woodlands Centre (DM's), Donisthorpe. Brian Langtry giving a presentation in film and music. this will include one of the first showings of his latest film on the Coventry Canal. this promises to be an entertaining evening at a popular venue. Free admission. all Welcome.

‘45 YEARS’ 15 17th March, 2.30pm and 8pm showings Church Hall, Church Street, Appleby Magna, DE12 7BB. (Opposite the Church). a week before Geoff & Kate’'s forty-fifth wedding anniversary, Geoff learns that the body of his first wife has been discovered, frozen and preserved, in the swiss alps. this causes them to re-evaluate their relationship, their life choices and deepest desires.

ASHBY DE LA ZOUCH FARMERS’ MARKET 18th March, 9am-1.30pm Manor House School, South Street, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, LE65 1BR. Every 3rd saturday of every month also Market Bosworth Farmers Markets on 4th sunday of every month 9am-2pm, the Market Place, Market Bosworth, CV13 0LE. For further details on either Farmers Market telephone 01530 261660.

ASHBY CLOCKMAKERS EXHIBITION until 31st March Ashby Museum, North Street, Ashy-de-la-Zouch. ashby Clockmakers - a temporary exhibition in the Loudoun Gallery, ashby museum.

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The village Breeze - March 2017