The Edge Magazine August 2018

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the ISSUE NO: 262





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Cruise & Dine* Set sail from the Hotel’s private mooring and enjoy 1 hour on the beautiful scenic Chelmer Canal, between Beeleigh Abbey and the Heybridge Yacht Basin

Select 2 courses from our Set Menu Tuesday - Friday Lunch £21.95pp or Dinner £24.95pp *Terms and conditions apply. See website for further details

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Our Magician and Mind reader will be there to Entertain and Mesmerise this and every Sunday. Menus online

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Afternoon Teas now available at both restaurants 12noon - 4pm Gift Vouchers available for both restaurants Ideal presents for Afternoon Tea, Stay & Dine, or Christmas.

Why not add on a Riverboat Cruise Trip to complement your Afternoon Tea? A fine selection of Teas and Coffees, accompanied by a selection of finger sandwiches. Chef’s homemade cakes, pastries and freshly baked scones with jam, strawberries and cream, and a glass of Champagne, plus 50% off selected Cocktails. *Terms and conditions apply. See website for further details

Private Functions available in The Orangery and private dining areas of both Le Bouchon and Le Benaix Can accommodate 10 to 50 people. Function menus and drink packages available. *Riverboat cruises available from April 1st - October 31st

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The Edge Editor’s Column TUGGING TOGETHER Motco (see page 29) hit the nail firmly on the head when he said that the blissful sunshine, together with England raising our hopes to some crazily giddy heights (in the World Cup) charged our otherwise politically despondent country into a high alert ‘PIS’ (prolonged intoxicated state). Only didn’t it feel good? I mean, hot damn, didn’t it FEEL GOOD??? I declined/refrained from all of that ‘It’s Coming Home’ shite as (a) it never, ever was, and (b) I’d mentally set myself a target of us reaching the quarter-finals, which at the outset I’d have been more than happy with, especially way back on Thursday 14th June when it all kicked-off. But then it all got a bit mental, didn’t it? Particularly after the Columbia game - and my god, we really did have to withstand a hell of a lot during that encounter, including plenty off-the-ball incidents and their late, late equaliser, which surely would have broken lesser England teams of our not so glorious past.

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Only then we went and breezed past Sweden, as though they weren’t really there (and maybe it was a game too far for them). And that’s precisely when I made the grave mistake of finally being swept up by all of the hype and truly believing that somehow, magically, we were reach the World Cup Final, by overcoming a very decent Croatia team in the semi’s. And that’s the danger of believing, isn’t it? Think Santa Claus. Because it sets you up for an almighty fall, which is exactly what happened to me. Quite frankly, how I felt the day after our semi-final was worse (pretty much) than a bereavement of true flesh and blood proportions, I am (almost) ashamed to say. But then, of course, it was immediately time for the let’s all tug together club to be disbanded and let the inquests begin as to where it all went wrong, by analysing the arse out of what had really happened in Russia that we’d all been far too spellbound to see. Only you know what? I prefer to remember what went right, for a right refreshing change, because I like the look of this all new England set-up. I like the togetherness. I like the business of ‘playing it out from the back’ that far better teams than us have been doing for years. And I like the fact that the future really does look bright, particularly when you consider what our U17 and U20 lads have been up to of late. So the 2020 Euro’s and the 2022 World Cup: ‘Let’s be ’aving you’ (Delia Smith). Bring it on!

HERE WE GO And for all those of you not in the slightest bit interested in the footie, you do realise that the 2018-19 Premiership season resumes with an evening kick-off - yes, an evening kick-off - on Friday 10th August, don’t you? Only no, I don’t suppose you do.

TRADITIONAL METHODS At the start of this decade, publishers feared the death of the paperback as readers abandoned book shops at an alarming rate in favour of those wretched Kindle things. Digital downloads first outsold hard copies in 2011, years sooner than anyone could have possibly predicted. However, last year, sales of physical books increased by 4% while ebook sales shrank proportionately by the same amount. It would appear that the e-readership peak has already passed, back in 2014. Such wonderful news to hear that traditional methods were being missed once the alternative had been experienced.

HALFORDS Any of you who are curious about the merits of e-bikes (and after my previous article, this almost sounds as though I’m being hypocritical, but I don’t think I am) need to get themselves round to Halfords on the Chelmo Village Rattle Park and hire a couple for but 1p each for a weekend and see how you get on. We hired a couple of Carrera’s the third weekend of July (more about which in the September issues) and OMG, it has totally changed our views about them. Like us, the first obstacle for many of you to get over will probably be a mental one, in so far as what’s the point of making cycling easier; isn’t that defeating the object? But the point is, you don’t have to engage the electric assistance if you don’t want to, but it’s there at the ready should you choose to call upon it. And believe us, once experienced, you most definitely will. THE EDGE Chelmsford CM2 6XD 077 646 7 97 44

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I honestly cannot make it any clearer than that, I don’t think. It’s so, so crazy that the deal signed between the railway stations/companies and Metro (free daily tabloid) doesn’t allow for ‘any other publication to be made available at the station’, when clearly it ought to have been ‘any other similar publication’ (to Metro). But hey ho, that’s what’s been signed, so you simply have to figure a way to work around these things, and I reckon this particular Edge dispenser is in a belting location, don’t you? Of course, you’ll naturally have to go into Coffee Republic to pick up a copy of The Edge if it’s raining and the dispenser’s been shifted indoors to keep its powder (mags) dry, but that’s no real hardship, is it? Cos you could always treat yourself to a right refreshing brew at the same time. And any other stores/businesses that think they can offer The Edge an enticing place to position one of its dispensers, let’s be hearing from you.

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“At the car wash, yeah” (Rose Royce)

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Blokes used to wash their cars of a Sunday morning in their driveways, didn’t they? With a bucket of hot soapy water and one of those - oh, now what were they called? It’s on the tip of my tongue. Hosepipes! That’s the word I was searching for. Although hang on a minute, because a member of TSP (The Sexist Police) might be reading this and be tut-tutting to themselves: ‘’Ello, ’ello, ’ello. What ’ave we got ’ere then? Are you discriminating against women, Edge bloke? Saying that the Sunday morning car washing ritual used to be the sole predisposition of singularly the male species of the ’ousehold?’ Well, yes, I am, actually. Because I honestly don’t remember seeing many ladies ‘out front of t’house’ in their Marigold’s undertaking such a task. Ever, come to think of it. What about thee, readers? But anyway, I digress. These days, the vast majority of us go to a Car Wash of some description, don’t we? Thus doing young lads seeking to earn a bit of pocket money a disservice. We go to such places because primarily, I guess, we’ve turned into a nation of right lazy buggers, haven’t we? I tend to go to that one on Waterhouse Lane near the Peugeot and Nissan dealerships, when I really ought to be letting some of the Polish loose on me motor, as they wipe the inside of the door and tailgate hinges as well, don’t they, and always seem to do such a reet grand job. So....there’s car washes for you, readers.

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Regal Kitchens, a family run business with showrooms in both Chelmsford and Billericay, has recently won ‘Retail Business of the Year’ and were finalists in ‘Customer Service’ and ‘Small Business of the Year’ categories at the Essex Business Excellence Awards.

recognised as a ‘Which Trusted Trader’ and an accredited member of the KBSA (Kitchens & Bathroom Specialist Association).

Installations director, Phil Edgell, says: “Our clients’ needs and expectations are evolving and much of our work now includes home alterations and extensions, in addition to fitting them a brand new kitchen. From design, right through to completion, we are totally committed to ensuring that our customers remain highly delighted with all that we do.”

Why use a KBSA member for you home improvements?

Sales Director, John Martin, adds: “We’d like to thank all of our customers, past, present and future, for entrusting us with their kitchens, and their homes. In an increasingly competitive market place, we recognise the importance of differentiating ourselves in every aspect of our business in order to ensure our customers are happy with both our products and our services. “We also realise that this is only possible with the support and hard work of a great team, to whom we’d like to extend our thanks.” Among accolades won in previous years by this forward thinking local company are the kitchen industry’s Customer Service Gold Award and the FIRA Gold Award for installation excellence, as well as now being

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• Confidence that you are using a reputable and reliable company • Satisfaction that your chosen company meets the stringent membership criteria required by the KBSA The winning team: Emma Mcloughlin, Oken Gulutu, John Martin, • Quality in the service, Helen Gulutu, Nicola Martin. design and installation of your home improvement project

• Security in the knowledge that your money is protected • Absolute delight in the end results! Regal Kitchens showroom in Chelmsford is open between 10am - 4pm seven days per week.

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August is finally upon us and for Kayleigh and I, that means one thing. Wedding bells! Saturday 11th August, to be precise. All the planning finally comes to an end and we get to enjoy the best day of our lives. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding will know that it empties out your pockets pretty quickly, which has meant we have been as thrifty as possible of late with our food ingredients, often using up leftover vegetables and herbs from our garden to invent something both delicious and new. As we discussed last month, we try to be as waste-free as we can and always like to use up every last bit of food. This is something we are passionate about, making the most of what’s in our garden, what’s in season, and not throwing anything away - this is such an important ethos for C&C and we hope to continue with recipes that give everyone fun ideas to use up leftover produce. So watch this space!

A TABLE OF MEXICAN DELIGHTS receivetheedgedirectto yourtabletorcough mixtureorlaptopor whereverthehellyou wanttoreceiveit withoutleaving yourhomeoryour officeoryour deckchair. it’sverysimple. allyouneedtodo isSUBSCRIBE

Mexican food is definitely up there at the top of our ‘favourite cuisines’ list. We love the depth and variety of flavours associated with Mexican food. Sweet, citrus, spicy, all working together to offer the very best experience. Since we have been enjoying such amazing weather of late, the other weekend we decided to set up an al fresco Mexican feast of our very own. We wanted to go completely vegan, kind of by accident, but you will find that Mexican food can lend itself to vegetarian/vegan food very well and easily. We ended up going with roasted butternut squash and peppers and making little tacos with all of the other sauces and sides we put together to go with it. So here’s a couple if simple recipes well worth trying yourselves. Roasted Butternut Squash & Pepper Mix: Ingredients: Butternut squash Green Pepper Desiccated coconut Coconut oil Coriander Maple syrup Cayenne Pepper Lime juice Method: Pre-heat oven to 200c and chop the butternut squash and peppers into bitesize chunks. Marinate in cayenne pepper, coconut oil, maple syrup and season. Bake for around 20 minutes until soft, but charred around the edges. At this point add the desiccated coconut to toast for around 5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lime, some fresh coriander and pop into a large sharing bowl. Chili Herb Dipping Sauce: Ingredients: Scotch bonnet (x 1) Coriander Parsley Basil 3 garlic cloves Salt & Pepper Olive Oil (4 x tbs) Water (50ml)

a large bunch of coriander, basil and parsley (with stalks), garlic, olive oil, water and seasoning. Blitz into a smooth bright green sauce. Add a squeeze of lime and pop into a dipping bowl with a spoon for the brave. Quick & Easy Pickled Red Onions Ingredients: Red spring onions 2 limes (juiced) 10ml white wine vinegar Salt Small pinch of brown sugar Method: This is the easiest way to get a pickled onion bite to a dish without boiling spices and vinegar for hours on end. Slice the onions (these could be shallots or leeks if that’s all you have), cover in lime juice, vinegar and salt/sugar. This is so tasty when added to your Mexican meal to add crunch. We would recommend serving these dishes with a plate of warm soft tortilla wraps, natural yoghurt, avocado, crunchy red cabbage and some mango for added fruitiness. Enjoy!

Method: This is a punchy hot sauce, but it has a beautiful fruity flavour from the Scotch bonnet. Add 1 Scotch bonnet (inc. seeds) to a food processor, Page 8

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The Stores Coffee, brunch & lunch

Opening Times

Tuesday- Friday 8.30am-5pm Saturday 9am-5pm Main Road, Great Waltham, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 1DE Tel Ç» 01245 362649 Email-

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Photographs by Hannah Tomlinson-Roe

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A day out at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show sadly meant that my outfit had to be decided upon from my feet upwards i.e. what shoes would be the comfiest for all day standing and walking, writes Lucinda Tomlinson-Roe (The Edge’s special horticultural correspondent). I opted for the de rigueur of many other ladies of a certain age, which was a cool, casual pair and (ahem) Sketchers. A hat was, of course, optional, although there were many stalls doing a roaring trade in sun hats, and it was very hot indeed the day we showed up. With ‘what if we buy something’ ringing in my ears, I took the executive decision to travel by train, as I simply couldn’t bear the thought of the M25 potentially ruining our day. What’s more, after getting off at Hampton Court station, we even took a £3 boat ride along the Thames directly to the entrance, although interestingly we seemed to be beaten there by numerous walkers. However, when one has a double-barreled name, one simply has to arrive in a certain style (arf). The show, of course, has something for everyone, including gardens that are so much easier to view than those at Chelsea, where it’s a constant battle to get in front of the riff-raff. Some polite queuing was called for in order to see some of them, particularly Apeiron : The Dibond Gardens which was well worth the wait and the best garden of the entire show in my humble opinion. I just looked through the slats of Conscious Consumerism (and still got it) and looked over the top (pardon the pun) of WW1: Lest We Forget. Despite the raging heat, the show gardens still looked fantastic and many designers were on hand to offer planting guides and advice. I also loved the Lifestyle Gardens, such as The Entertaining Garden which celebrated gin, the ‘new’ fashionable drink. Not to mention the Gardens for a Changing World and Conceptual Gardens section, A Very Modern Problem, which was a great example of social media misrepresenting life i.e. one side of a Smartphone was perfect, if impractical, while the other side was the usual mess of uncut grass and abandoned kid’s toys. There were also lots of other great patches which were easy to see and photograph and were, more importantly, ones you could recreate at home. The floral marquee was huge and full of grand displays from plant nurseries and exhibitors, though admittedly some were looking a bit tired after being baked in the searing heat, but there was no denying the impact such exhibits offered.

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Then there was the Festival of Roses, with the ‘Rose of the Year’ - apparently Starlight Symphony - on proud display for those who are into their, well, roses, whilst the Floral Design Studio displayed their Floral web and Evolution themes, as well as offering talks and demonstrations. But if vegetables, fruit and herbs are far more your thing, they even had their very own area called Dig In - very witty - where one could get answers to all of ones questions from the exhibitors.

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We were still there when they announced the show was closing and strolled back to the station via a local Zizzi’s, so popped in with, along many other diehards, before our journey home. Naturally we were surrounded by similar sun-kissed show-goer types, many of whom were sporting the iniquitous plastic trolley crate that the plant buyers can’t resist. And yes, we had one too, but ours was pink, did not contain any flowers, and the seller had thrown in the £3 lid free of charge, so all in all we felt we’d got ourselves a bargain and had a fabulous day out too. Obviously I’m not going to mention the deliveries that arrived over the course of the next few weeks, but rest assured, we didn’t leave empty-handed after all.


All in all, not a very cheap day out, but our bargain basement return train tickets (less than £40 for the 3 of us) helped, plus RHS membership ticket price (£27.50 each) and you are allowed to take in your own picnic lunch (if you can be bothered lugging it around with you).

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There’s even a Plant Creche for all of your purchases, plenty of places to eat and drink (best to avoid at busier times as there were not enough seats in the shade and it was a bit of a bun-fight at the counter). Incidentally, a glass of Pimms cost £7.50, while a nice cup of tea was far more reasonably priced.


And that’s just outside. Enter the Country Living Magazine Pavilion (a very warm marquee indeed) and I challenge anyone not to come out without having bought something. Obviously it’s full of jewellery (no, I’m never sure what that has to do with gardening either), clothing (all ladies who garden just love linen dresses, apparently), cushions, homewares and ‘artisan gifts’ (so says the description) i.e. stuff you feel you really need while you’re there, then wonder why you caved in once you return home.


There’s absolutely no need to feel as though you’ve missed out on a shopping trip at the Hampton Court Flower Show, because besides the vast amount of plants on sale - although I can never understand why people feel the need to lug such home on the tube - there are enough trade stands to satisfy anyone wishing to splash the cash. Never sure why I get attracted to 16ft ladders, but there we go. And did the 10% show saving discount mean I ended up parting with the better part of £800? Hmmm, another time, perhaps.

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Okay, come on, let’s be ’aving you - who in Chelmsford (or beyond, because The Edge does seem to get about a bit) has bought themselves one of these big green babies? Come on, own up! You can seemingly get a sort of entry-level one for around the 130-quid mark, and there’s something called a Composite 3-slag (sorry, slat) EGG-mate for £145. Only hang on a mo, because the beast of all beasts - the XXL Big Green Egg - will set you back a whopping £2,950 and is recommended for all those of you who “regularly entertain more than 10-12 people” (The Edge doesn’t even know more than 10-12 people). Apparently it’s got a huge firebox in which you can achieve even low and slow cooks of up to 24 hours, or alternatively cook several different items at once (like people do on a barbeque). Only where this monster is concerned, you are talking about 14 racks of ribs, 11 chickens, 24 burgers, a 21” pizza or a pair of Crimbo turkeys (wot, the ‘C’ word, in August???) with all the trimmings. Already this BBQ has earnt itself the moniker of being ‘the barbecue of the stars’ (David Beckham has apparently got one, the tart). The Big Green Egg (’orrible colour, although I suppose it matches the grass, even though ours is beige at the moment) is made from Nasa-inspired ceramics (and I’ll bet that’s all some of you needed to know before you got your credit cards out, isn’t it?). Its dome-shaped top-of-the-egg (the bit you slice off before salting and dunking a ‘soldier’ in) is rust-proof and burn-proof and comes in a variety of six different sizes, depending upon the depth of your pockets. The largest - the big daddy (Shirley Crabtree) - weighs in at 170kg and can cook an entire suckling pig and costs £2,950 on its own, or £3,350 with a metal nest stand. Hell’s teeth, one of these buggers can even bake a cake, whilst its airtight chambers enable residual heat to burn away grease build-up, pretty much like a self-cleaning oven. Meanwhile, the ceramics, originally developed for the US space programme, apparently allow for hotter and more precise cooking temperatures to help keep food moist (fantastic word). Liz Hurley’s got one, as has The Duchess of Sussex (that’ll be Meghan then), whilst Kirstie Allsopp swears by hers (and there’s a woman who looks like she enjoys her food). “We are massive barbequers,” oozes our Kirsts. “We love our Big Green Egg as we love outdoor cooking and outdoor eating.” Oh, and The Edge reckons Gwyneth Paltrow’s probably got one too as there’s a woman who seems as though she needs to have one of fecking anything. So pray, who has got one of these mad mechanisms in Chelmsford (or, as stated, in the surrounding environs thereof)? Able to withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees, ready for cooking just 12 minutes after lighting, provides up to 80 hours of cooking on just one £25 bag of it’s charcoal (made from premium cuts of oak and hickory hardwoods). Surely a Big Green Egg has simply got to be the way forward. Well, hasn’t it?

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This is slightly worrying. Wife’s just booked four of us (ourselves + sis’n’bro’-in-law) into a cottage in the Lake District next month, when a crafty week in Santorini had previously been muted. Last time she put her foot down and took matters into her own hands like this was when we spent a week in Southern Ireland at the same time that Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane were having a bit of a spat in Saipan as the Republic of Ireland reached the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan, and it pretty much rained throughout our entire sodding week. In fact, the only time I’ve ever visited the Lake District, as a nipper on a school outing, yep, it rained non-stop that day too and we were all drenched through to the skin within but 10 minutes of getting off the coach for a day spent bloody hiking. So you could say I have my reservations, although the scenery does look quite staggering. Apparently our cottage is pretty close to Lake Windemere, so if any of you readers have any knowledge of the Lakes, tips and recommended walks we ought undertake, I’d be most pleased to hear from you. Also, what’s the best route to take to get there from Chelmsford and how long a journey is it?

Smart, yet understated. Logical, yet adventurous. Humble, yet ambitious. Pragmatic, yet open-minded. Confident, yet self-depreciating. Because we were good, weren’t we? We surely surprised ourselves; surprised the whole country. While it lasted. Yet now we have genuine hope and trust going forward into both the 2020 European Championships and the 2022 World Cup. And we haven’t had genuine, bone fide hope for a long while, have we? So do you think that some of this new found shine and some of this newly discovered gloss might just rub off onto our politics, on Brexit, and life as we know it in Blighty? Because we bloody well need it to.

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Chelmsford’s Home Partnership have been helping developers sell land and new homes around the Chelmsford and Brentwood areas for years and there seemingly isn’t a day that goes by where they’re not pricing a potential new homes scheme, or attending a site meeting about a proposed site. Buying a new home is 9/10 a much speedier process with many developers wanting contracts exchanged within 28 days of the draft contracts being issued. So Scott and Merrick, two of the founding Partners of THP, are now heading up this side of the business to help guide buyers through the process from start to finish, including the handling of reservation forms, fees, advice on Help To Buy, and what it all means in plain and simple terms. But it’s not just buyers they are looking after, as they are also on hand for both new and experienced developers to offer pre-marketing advice, reviewal of architectural plans, provide recommendations on design layouts and advise on what’s best for the area in question. So give these guys a call if you’d like advice on how to start looking to purchase a new home, or you have land to sell, both with or without planning. Chelmsford office 11 Duke Street, CM1 1HL 01245 250 222



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Our family law department has over 24 years of collective experience. We have the understanding and knowledge to guide you through life’s twists and turns.

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The Edge bloody well loves this guy, so sincerely hopes you readers tuned into his world wanderings recently on Sunday evenings - because sadly it was a series of just three episodes which were not to be missed. It was a travel show with a huge, huge difference in so far as Romesh didn’t appear particularly enamoured by any of the places he was visiting and it really did prove to be a bit of an eye-opener. “I’m more than happy with a nice fortnight in the Algarve,” he confessed. Episode one kicked-off with a trip to Haiti (which President Trump called “a shithole”), complete with him having to have a 24hr bodyguard. Still recovering from the 2010 earthquake, he witnessed the poverty of Cite Soleil and Port-au-Prince (definitely not the Algarve) and we saw how genuinely uneasy he felt at times, way out of his comfort zone. In episode two he visited Ethiopia - you know, famine, drought, and Bob Geldof singing about famine and drought - yet a place of more natural beauty than our man had ever seen in his life before. This truly was a fascinating series and the relationships Romesh built with both his sidekick in Haiti and once again in Ethiopia is true testament to his own warmth of character. Finally he visited Albania, but I’ve yet to watch that one. The Edge wants more, more of Romesh as a kind of ‘potty mouthed Michael Palin’, rather than seeing him popping up on almost every TV panel show going, because surely he has now discovered his true calling.

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As John McEnroe might say, “You cannot be serious, man!” But then once again, that’s SEXIST, because the driver may have been a woman?
















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VALID SUNDAYS TO THURSDAYS DURING AUGUST 2018 Enter your details below, bring along this voucher and present when you ask for the bill. Name


T&Cs: £5 surcharge for fillet steaks; offer excludes Monday to Friday lunchtimes. Tables of 8 and above require a deposit of £10 per person. This deposit will be fully refunded on the evening. If, however, the number in your party decreases and we have not been given 48 hours notice, we will unfortunately only refund £10 per person present. Minimum charge applies.



VOUCHER_2015_2.indd 3

16/07/2015 08:40

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Keeping an allotment has fantastic benefits; it enables you to be outside in the fresh air, grow your own fruit and veg, live a healthy lifestyle and meet all sorts of like minded people. It’s also a great way to exercise - did you know that gardening for just 30 minutes can burn off around 150 calories? Allotments are also of great benefit to the local wildlife and are an essential habitat for (some) animals, whilst cultivating an allotment can also help keep much needed biodiversity levels up. We asked a local allotment owner, Hannah, some questions on keeping an allotment: How did you get involved? My mum always had an allotment when I was growing up, as well as a vegetable patch at home. I used to enjoy going to the allotment when I was a child, picking crops, especially apples, and planting. When my son was old enough, I wanted him to have the same experiences I’d had; planting potatoes, enjoying the surprise of digging a root up and planting fruit trees. We now have a Bramley apple tree on dwarf rootstock which took us fully two years to grow, and my son looks after it now. What attracted you to growing your own fruit and veg? It’s such a great way to relax and destress after a hard day at work, whilst home-grown fresh fruit and vegetables always taste so much better. How long have you had an allotment; what benefits do they bring? Twelve years and counting. It’s such good exercise with lots of fresh air. You just get stuck in and get involved in what you’re doing and you often forget just how long you’ve been out on the allotment for! Have you had any interesting experiences? I was once out watering one summer’s evening and a young fox, who was using my plot paths, walked right by me and completely ignored me, as if I wasn’t there. Is there a social aspect to having an allotment? Yes, there most definitely is. Some allotments even run growing competitions and there’s a great sense of community about the whole thing. Is it hard work? To start off with, it can be. But you soon get used to it and grow to love it. How can you get involved? Firstly, contact your local authority, who will be able to provide you with a directory of local sites and you will be able to add your name to a waiting list for your nearest one. There are also other allotment sites which are provided by private landlords. To find these do some research by contacting your local allotment society who will be able to advise you. For more information please visit or visit the National Allotment Society (website:

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A top London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a Glasgow copper. He presumes he is much smarter than the cop because he is a lawyer, from London, up in Scotland on business and is certain he has a better education then any Jock up there. So he decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the copper’s expense. Glasgow cop: "LICENSE and registration, please?" London lawyer: "What for?" Glasgow cop: "Ye didnae come to a complete stop at the stop sign." London lawyer: "I slowed down, and no one was coming." Glasgow cop: "Ye still didnae come to a complete stop. License and registration, please?" London lawyer: "What's the difference?" Glasgow cop: "The difference is, ye huvte come to a complete stop. That's the law. So LICENSE and REGISTRATION, please?" London Lawyer: "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, then I'll give you my license and registration and you can give me a ticket. If not, I’ll be on my way." Glasgow cop: "Sounds fair to me. Please exit your vehicle, sir." The London lawyer gets out of his motor. Then the Glasgow cop takes out his baton and starts beating the living shit out of the London lawyer and says, "Now dae ye want me to stop, or just slow doon a wee bit?"

CRUSHED NUTS A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice-cream parlour and pulled himself gingerly and seemingly painfully up onto a high stool at the counter. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split. The waitress asked, “Crushed nuts?” The old guy replied. “Nope, arthritis.”

NANA KNOWS BEST It's like my Nanna used to say. Shut the f ck up * you annoying little tw t.


FATHER PATRICK Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only his pet dog for company. One day the dog croaked and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, “Father, ma doog is dead. Could ya' be saying' a mass for the poor creature?” Father Patrick replied, “I'm afraid not. We cannot hold services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane and there's really no telling what they believe in. Maybe they'll do something for the poor wee creature.” Muldoon said, “I'll go doon there right away, Father. Thank you. And do ya think £5,000 would be enough to donate to them for such a service?” Father Patrick exclaimed, 'Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus, Muldoon. Why didn't ya tell me yer dog was Catholic too?”

NAG NAG NAG An attorney arrived home late after a very tough day trying to get a stay of execution for one of his clients. His last minute plea for clemency to the governor had failed and he was feeling worn out and depressed. As soon as he walked through the door, his wife started on at him about “What time of night to be getting home do you call this?” and “Where have you been? Your dinner‘s ruined.” On and on and on she went. Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he poured himself a stiff whiskey and headed off for a long hot soak in the bathtub, pursued by the predictable sarcastic remarks of his wife as he dragged himself up the stairs. While he was in the bath, the phone rang. His wife answered and was told that her husband's client, James Wright, had been granted a stay of execution after all. Wright would definitely not be hanged tonight. So finally realising what a terrible day her husband must have had, she decided to go upstairs and give him the good news. As she opened the bathroom door, she was greeted by the sight of her husband bent over naked, drying his legs and feet. “Hey, they're not hanging Wright tonight,” she exclaimed. Upon which her husband whirled angrily around and screamed, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, DON'T YOU EVER STOP?”

FRIENDSHIP AMONG WOMEN A woman didn't come home one night. The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house. So the man called his wife's six best friends. They all said they knew nothing about it.

FRIENDSHIP AMONG MEN A man didn't come home one night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. So the woman called her husband's six best friends. Five confirmed that he had, in fact, slept over at their place, while one even said he was still there and was just taking a shower.

returned and handed his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. So she stared at the plate for a moment, before blurting out, “I told you you’d forget my toast?”

STATE OF THE ART A man was telling his neighbour, “I just bought me a new hearing aid. It cost me two thousand pounds, but it's a beaut. State of the art.” “Really?” answered his neighbour. “What kind of hearing aid is it?” “Almost a quarter to three,” he replied.

ABDULLAH An Arab family were considering putting their grandfather, Abdullah, in a nursing home, but all the Arab facilities were completely full, so they had to put him into an English home. After a few weeks in the home, they came to visit him. “How do you like it here?" asked his grandson. “It's wonderful! Everyone here is so courteous and respectful," said his Grandpa. "We're so happy for you,” said his daughter. “We were worried this wouldn’t be the right place for you, since you are a little bit different from everyone else here." "Oh no,” said Abdullah, “I’m fine. Let me tell you how wonderfully they treat us residents. There's a musician here who must be 85 years old. He hasn't played the violin in 25 years, yet everyone still calls him Maestro. Then there’s a judge who's 95and he hasn't been on the bench in over 30 years, yet everyone still calls him Your Honor. And there's a quack who’s just turned 80 years old, hasn't written a prescription since he can remember, yet everyone here still calls him Doc. It’s lovely.” “So what do they call you?” asks his son-in-law. “Me?” says Abdullah. “It’s so funny. Even though I haven't had sex for 35 years, but they still call me That F cking Arab.”


LEXI This is Lexi.

ICE-CREAM A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. During a check-up, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down in order to help them remember stuff. Later that same evening, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. “Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?” he asked his wife. “Oooh, will you get me a bowl of ice cream, please?” she asked. “Sure.” “Don't you think you should write it down, so you can remember it?” she asked. “I can remember it,” her husband tutted. “Well in that case, I'd like some strawberries on top too,” she said. “So maybe you should write it down, just so you don’t forget?” “I can remember that,” chided her husband. “You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries on top. I got it.” “And some whipped cream too. I'm certain you'll forget, so why don’t you write it down?” she asked. Irritated, her husband said, “I don't need to write it down. I can remember it. Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream. I got it, for goodness sake.” With that he toddled off to the kitchen. After about 25 minutes, the old man eventually

She's an 8 week-old German Shepherd. I bought Lexi as a surprise gift for my wife, but it turns out she’s allergic to dogs, so we are now looking to find her a new home. She is 56 years old, a beautiful and caring woman who can drive, is a great cook and keeps a spotless house. All genuine offers considered. Please give generously.

All jokes published are supplied by Edge readers. Please send your ‘egg yokes’ to

The Edge 262_The Edge 172.qxd 26/07/2018 14:10 Page 23

Now that’s what you call a flat-top!

WORLD CUP Well, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup in Russia last month. In truth, the tournament lacked the outstanding quality we have seen in previous years, but that only made for a far more exiting competition and, more importantly, goals. While France were probably worthy winners, I did think Croatia were outstanding and wished that Luke Modric could have lead them to glory, as he was by far and away the best player of the entire tournament. England’s run to the semi-final was incredible and it really seemed to unite our country, in so far as what has already been a glorious summer plus a bit of success on the pitch for a change. However, a word of caution, because we should certainly not get carried away with ourselves. Yes, some of the football we

played out from the back was exceptional, but we are missing a world class midfielder and are severely lacking in creativity. Set pieces are part and parcel of the game and it’s fantastic that we’re now seemingly so good at them, but we clearly need to find a solution to scoring more goals from open play. Now that the dust has settled and we have had time to reflect, I do not think reaching the semi-finals was an overachievement, as so very many have already commented. The draw was incredibly kind to us and we had a golden opportunity for further success. We lacked the experience and composure to hold on against Croatia and a lack of concentration resulted in our elimination in extra-time. The harsh reality is that we only played two teams with any real quality and we lost to them both.

awake? Don’t get me wrong, from what I read about President Trump, he doesn’t appear to be the most pleasant person in the world, but having said that, I’m not entirely sure what the protesters are actually protesting against? I have heard some say that Trump shouldn’t be the President of the United States, but that doesn’t make any sense, because he was democratically elected (and probably will be again). Meanwhile, others have said he should be banned from the UK because of his behaviour and some of the historic comments he has made. Now while I agree that some of the things he has said in the past are extremely unpleasant, if we are going to protest against state visits, then surely we should have started with, say, Mohammed bin Salman. After all,


Some of the football England played was exceptional, but...

I genuinely do not see how anyone could muster up the energy, on one of the hottest days of the year, to go up to London to protest against the recent visit of Donald Trump to the UK. Worse still, who in their right mind would stand outside his hotel room with a drum and whistle all night in the hope that they could keep him

If you want to protest, what about Mohammed bin Salaman?

he is the Saudi Crown Prince and if protesters want someone with a history of inappropriate comments and bad behaviour, then maybe they should take a look at this guy’s track record. The Guardian recently reported on his alleged misdemeanours which include funding terrorism in the UK, domestic human rights abuses and breaching international humanitarian laws. Yet despite all that, only a few hundred protesters were on hand to greet his three day visit back in May of this year, which included having lunch with the Queen. Yes, Trump is an odious orange toad, but I really do hope that people stop getting carried away with all of this mass virtue signalling, flag waving, drum beating, whistle blowing hysteria.




01245 01245 2 250 50 222

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A nurse who recently quit her job to work in Lidl says she is better off and has “much less stress” in her life now. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous (this is probably not her, pictured above), cited low morale, low pay and many of her colleagues jumping ship as mitigating factors in her leaving the NHS. She explained to The Edge’s Special Economic Correspondent (have we taken on someone I don’t even know about?) that although she knew it was never going to be the best paid career in the world, she thought it would be worthwhile and “make a difference”. This nurse admits that she quit the NHS in order to “stack shelves at Lidl” and these days says she is much better off. “Sadly, it got to the point where my morale was so low that I simply couldn’t take it anymore,” she admitted. “Lots of my colleagues were leaving the profession, going home (to their country of origin) or joining (private) nursing companies. There weren’t even enough nurses on the ward, so it’s not as if we could do our jobs very well either, which is demoralising. Patients would just complain to us all day long because they weren’t getting the attention they needed. And with the price of pretty much everything going up, it was getting harder and harder to make ends meet. I never had enough spare money to treat myself or go on holiday and everything I ever buy for my daughter is second-hand, including her school uniform.” When a brand new Lidl opened up close to where she lived, she applied and got the job and now doesn’t even have to pay for her parking, like she had to do when she worked at a hospital. She added, “The best thing is the fact that my hours are a lot more sociable. Pay is roughly around the same level, but I get 10% off the cost of my shopping and I’ve now sold my car, which is saving me a lot of money. Overall, I’m slightly better off, but these days I have much less stress in my life.” Lidl pays a graduate manager an average salary of £36,842pa while a newly qualified nurse starts on just £23,023pa, according to a job website. Meanwhile, a snitch at the NHS has said, “Years of pay restraint and stressful working conditions has certainly taken its toll on nurses. Pay levels are simply becoming uncompetitive.” Apparently there is a shortage of 42,855 nurses, 11,187 doctors and 12,219 healthcare support workers within the NHS. As well as a poor work-life balance and low morale, staff are also quitting because of pay. Meanwhile, grey-lady Theresa May recently announced that the NHS would be getting £20billion extra per year through a ‘Brexit Dividend’, but refused to answer exactly how it would be funded.

It appears women are significantly more stressed out than men, according to the largest ever survey carried out on the issue. It discovered 81% have felt overwhelmed and unable to cope in the past year alone, compared with 67% of men. Worse, more than a third have felt suicidal, compared with 29% of men, whilst 18% of women have also self-harmed. Their biggest issue appears to be personal finance, with 43% of women citing such, whilst where men are concerned, it (41%) revolves around pressures of work. Society’s focus on how women should look is also a significant factor for many women’s distress, blaming their concerns about appearance and body image. The Mental Health Foundation, which surveyed more than 4,600 people, also found that 18-24 year olds are more stressed than their parents. The Edge 01245 348256

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doesn’t think of the UK as being anything special. It’s a generation that voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union because that’s the world they knew.

Don’t you just hate it when people use sport as a metaphor for life? Yup. Agreed. But heck, let’s do it anyway.

This generation represents the future. Not just for English football, but for the country. It’s a generation that is multi-racial, open, united and accepting of its starting place below the very top of the table. Of course they are all proud to play for England, but they’ve left the arrogance of empire behind because they never knew it and it’s ancient history anyway. Just as losing shoot-outs has been condemned to ancient history.

Last month’s heroics by the England team at the World Cup need some recognition beyond the simple acknowledgement that on the field they managed to achieve something not done in decades. Thirty years of hurt had quietly turned into fifty. Where did all that time go? From a personal point of view, a deep emotional attachment to Spurs has held steadfast through bad times and bad times (and some good ones recently), but the national team has been of declining interest for many years. Indeed, the last half dozen tournaments passed by with barely a flicker of involvement. It wasn’t just that the results were poor, it was way beyond that. The members of the so called golden generation were in fact crap whenever they pulled on an England shirt. The team seemed to be much less than the sum of the parts. Much, much worse though was the revolving cast of unlovable and unsavoury characters. And that’s not even touching on moronic fans terrorising other people’s cities and going on about two world wars and one world cup. The whole shebang was just too much of an embarrassment to be associated with. Arrogant entitlement oozed from everywhere, especially the tabloid rags - we’re England so we deserve to win. Except we never did. Given all that history it is a huge achievement for Gareth Southgate to have turned it round so damn quickly. Gone is the arrogance. He went out of his way to lower expectations by admitting England are no longer Manchester City, but Everton. Nice history, but mid-table irrelevance personified these days. OK, not in as many

words, but that’s the basic message he espoused. Yet in the background he was quietly going about the business of being competent and changing the culture. Kicking out Rooney was a great start. Manager after manager seemed determined to shoe-horn him into sides no matter that he wasn’t fit and really only had experience as an out and out loser. Concentrating on a new generation with no baggage was another key step forward. Who would have thought that taking penalities is a skill you can learn if you practice? What a stunning revelation that a team works better when all 11 players are of one, not split into cliques? Best of all, he’s got rid of the egos and made the team likable again. And likability is a much underrated quality. Arise, Sir Gareth, cannot be too far off. OK, so how is this a metaphor for life beyond the sporting arena? Here’s how. The success in Russia was based on trusting a new generation. It’s a new generation that is colour blind. Half the team is black, but nobody even notices, much less cares. A generation that has no concept of world wars and never knew a time when Britain ruled the waves, so

Rachel and Paul Restarick and their three children and two dogs now own the Black Bull public house on Rainsford Road. They have officially been in for just over a month, yet have immediately “invested massively” in their large garden, admits Rachel. “We’re a family ourselves,” she told The Edge, “so we think it’s vitally important for us to cater for other families in the area, and also hopefully attract families to our pub from further afield as well. We’ve just bought a brand new big climbing frame that has just been installed, along with with a large chalk board and a super children’s seating area. “We also offer FREE POOL every Tuesday and HALF-PRICE MAIN MEALS every Thursday! “We are ultra dog friendly and even have a special doggy station available in our pub garden. Private party hire is now available, along with lots of upcoming events such as karaoke, live music, psychic nights, bingo and much, much more!” Watch this space for the Black Bull’s epic Children’s Halloween Party and magical Christmas Party nearer the time!

When you look at Sir Gareth, what you see is what we’d all like to be. Competent. Decent. Humble in victory, gracious in defeat. Those are qualities very lacking in our current political leaders. It’s time for us, the electorate, to be Sir Gareth. We must tell all the old white men (and one old white lady) that we’ve had enough of their incompetence and division and vote the buggers out in favour of new blood. A generation of leaders that starts out by accepting the UK is Everton, not Manchester City. A generation that understands the UK is multi-ethnic and it’s not a problem. One that understands the old ways don’t work any more and it will never be 1966 again. It is time for the Rooneys of the political world; May, Boris, Gove, Corbyn, to be told, thanks for the service, but shut the door on your way out. It’s happening out here in the US - young men, and especially young women, are signing up in droves to fight for elected office to challenge revolting old white men like Trump and his cronies. It’s been said before, where the US leads, the UK usually follows. Let’s hope so.


FAMILY & DOG FRIENDLY Email: Telephone: 01245 355922 Like us on Facebook @blackbullchelmsford


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SELF-MADE? You may already have heard all the furore surrounding Kylie Jenner, she of vacuous reality TV fame and owner of the Kylie Cosmetics make-up brand. According to Forbes, a magazine where rich people learn about how rich other people are and pat each other on the back for being so rich, Miss Jenner is on track to become the youngest ‘self-made’ billionaire. Erm, did I miss the memo where we all agreed the meaning of selfmade should change? I always thought it meant someone who came from nothing and through sheer hard work and determination made something remarkable of their life, but what do I know? Apparently, you can be born into a family with a multi-million-dollar fortune and become famous for no other reason than being born into that family, and then use that fame and the millions of dollars at your disposal to start your own company and it still somehow counts.

ME & MY  adamantium skeleton

The Kingmeister reports CRASH!

HEAD IN THE SAND For the past few months I’ve been eschewing all forms of social media. I’ve cancelled Facebook and Twitter and I never did the Instagram or Snapchat things anyway. The most social media style thing I do now is be part of a What’sApp group at work which is supposed to be for us to let each other know what the traffic is like on the way in to the office. Sometimes people actually traffic news on there, but mainly it’s used to send round pornography, of course. I do still browse Reddit, but even that’s really just forums for some games I play, or looking at r/childrenfallingover which I probably shouldn’t find as funny as I do. So have I missed being as ‘connected’ over the past few months? No, not one bit. In fact, I’m happier without it all and I’ve got no plans on going back. It’s the same with the news as well. I used to voraciously devour the news from a number of differ-

I was recently involved in my first traffic accident and no, it wasn’t my fault. Considering I once spent a few months fighting my way through the Marrakech rush-hour with not even a near-miss, it came as somewhat of a surprise to have my first bash on a quiet lane near Brentwood. When I commute to work, I get off the A127 as soon as I can and head through the back roads and country lanes. It takes me a few miles out of my way, but it’s a much nicer drive. At one point the road I take goes to a single lane with passing places dotted along each side, one of which happens to be at the base of a small hill.

This sort of thing isn’t just demonstrably stupid, it’s bloody insulting. I’m not knocking Miss Jenner. Good luck to you, love. I’m sure even with all the help and opportunities you’ve had that ‘normal’ people could only dream of, you’ve still had to graft a bit for your $900 million fortune. I’m knocking anyone that can call her ‘self-made’ with a straight face. As if all this wasn’t ridiculous enough, one of those excruciating online campaigns has started to get Miss Jenner to the one billion mark. That’s right, people are actually donating money to the person from a millionaire family who is already worth over 900 million herself. Really? Do we honestly think that’s acceptable? Forget the homeless, forget cancer research, forget any of the thousands of worthy causes to donate money to. No, let’s give money to a girl who is almost already a billionaire! If you’ve even thought of donating money to this insulting farce, then please don’t. Donate it to people that actually need it. Christ knows, you’re not stuck for choice these days. I might offend some people now, but if you have donated money to this billionaire relief fund, then you’re clearly an idiot who ought to know better. There are people out there that desperately need help and campaigns like these are just spitting in their faces. Come on, we can all do better, and be better, than this, surely?

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As usual, I slowed down as I came up to it, but if I see the road ahead is clear, then naturally I’ll carry on. And I did. Only to be met by a BMW that came charging over said hill at around 50mph. I had just about enough time to think “He’s going to hit me” and then everything was just engine noise and crunching metal. Luckily neither of us were hurt and the damage to the cars was mainly superficial.

You should have seen the other guy My clunky old LandRover came out of it a bit better than the BMW, but it was still missing headlights, bumper and a front wing, so my new back road friend and I began to sort out what we were going to do. In the end, we decided we didn’t need to bother our insurance companies and he offered to get mine repaired, to which I readily agreed, although I felt a bit bad when the initial quote of £1,400 turned into just over £2,000 as I don’t think my Freelander is even worth that much these days. All in all, my first prang turned out okay, so far as prangs go. I picked up my car after just a week and he’d even had it cleaned and valeted for me as well. It hadn’t looked that good since I bought it. Funnily enough, I was thinking of getting rid of it soon, but for some reason, now I’ve had an accident in it, I suddenly like it a whole lot more!

“I remain very interested in meat products though” ent sources, but now the only time I dip into it is to find something interesting to write about. If I didn’t write for The Edge, then I doubt I’d even dip in at all. It’s probably not a good thing, but I’m definitely becoming more insular as I’m getting older. I’m interested in my family and close friends, but the rest of the world can go look after itself. Or, probably more accurately, just piss off and leave me alone. I’m well aware that I’m being very ‘head in the sand’ and that supposedly ‘it’s good to be informed’ yadda-yadda - but is it? What’s the point in being so very well informed if you won’t, or can’t, do anything with that information, apart from get wound up and write a scathing tweet about it? I wouldn’t say I’m anti-social as by and large I like people and I do like to socialise every now and again. But when I don’t socialise, or even have much contact with people, I honestly don’t miss the interaction. People are going to do what they do, good or bad, and the world is going to keep on spinning, for the foreseeable future at any rate, whether I take an interest in it or not. So why worry myself about it? I’m not convinced the way I’m feeling is a good thing, but it’s not bothering me either. If anything, I’m more relaxed and happier than I’ve been for a while. So maybe Cypher in ‘The Matrix’ was right, as he bit into that big, juicy, fake steak. Ignorance really is bliss? The Edge 01245 348256

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theEDGE GOLD STAR of approval AWARD This month’s GOLD STAR of APPROVAL AWARD looks as though it’s going to Costa Coffee, doesn’t it? And while The Edge has to admit that this particular Costa is it’s favourite Costa destination in all of Chelmsford, it’s actually the Clockhouse Rattle Park (remember, June Edge, Editor’s Column - they’re called Rattle Parks, not Retail Parks, readers) as a whole that is getting the Gold Star treatment - but in particular - wait for it - drumroll please, maestro - the Clockhouse Aldi. Yes, The Edge didn’t think it’d ever be saying such a thing a few years back, but it’s true, the Clockhouse Aldi is an absolute belter and I actually enjoy going there (that’s currently, I might add, as I’m a bit fickle, so I’ve been told) ahead of any other supermarket destination within our mighty metropolis. It’s new. It’s clean. It’s fresh. It’s aisles are nice and wide and its air-con has been absolutely delightful during the hot and sticky weather we’ve been having of late. Plus the staff and the lads’n’lasses on the tills have all been fair dinkum. So hey, Aldi, don’t you dare let your standards slip, now that you’ve landed this most prestigious and coveted of awards/gongs going locally, alright?

Hi Shaun, Just thought I’d make a comment about Staycation holidays. Some time ago you mentioned in The Edge a place I had never even heard of, which was Staithes. So on a recent trip to North Yorkshire with my wife, we made a point of visiting this small seaside town and we were very pleased we did. It has a picturesque beach with a nice pub and is well worth a visit if you’re ever in the vicinity, so many thanks for that. During our same staycation, we also visited somewhere called The Forbidden Corner at a place called Middleham, near Ripon. To be honest, I don’t know how best to describe it as it was like no place we’d ever been to before. There’s also two quirky independent eating places we’ve visited in the past year that are worthy of note, and a bit further south too. One is the Hidden Hut overlooking the beach at Porthkernick, a few miles on from St.Austell. The other is in Teignmouth and called the Blue Hut. Both serve limited menus, but the food is very tasty indeed. We’ve enjoyed your excellent, entertaining and informative fanzine for some years now, so thought it high time we gave a little back. Best Wishes, Bob Gansbuehler. Many thanks for that, Bob & Mrs G. Most appreciated. EE.

The Edge 077 646 797 44

You may have spotted this motley crew running around town, or seen them at Parkrun. Or you may never have even heard of them. They are GoodGym, a charity and community of runners who combine getting fit with doing good deeds. Every Wednesday at 6:30pm, summer or winter, they set off from Anglia Ruskin University’s Mildmay Gym for a run of between 2-5km to a local community organisation and help them with anything and everything, before running back again. From transforming a garden for InterAct, painting for Mencap and planting flowers at Broomfield Hospital, GoodGym have undertaken all sorts of tasks all over Chelmsford. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously and every week we put a run report up on our website with an often quite terrible pun for the title!” says GoodGym honcho David Chatterjee. With loneliness and isolation of elderly people often featuring prominently in the news, GoodGym also does its bit through ‘coach runs’. You can be paired up with an older person and make a huge difference to their life by running to see them on a weekly basis. Occasionally they also undertake ‘missions’ where they run to help out older and isolated people with one-off practical tasks that they are no longer able to complete on their own. “I always used to struggle to get the motivation to get up and exercise,” admits David. “But with GoodGym, because all abilities are welcome, it’s a wonderful way to get fit and also do some good. What’s more, I actually find myself looking forward to the runs.” So don’t you readers worry if you aren’t the strongest of runners as there’s always a GoodGym back-marker to ensure that no-one gets left behind. “Helping out in your local community really makes you feel good,” says David, “and with great people around you, it definitely makes you stick to it.” So why not visit or email

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IT GIVES YOU A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN JUST WINGS I’ve never even drank a can of Red Bull in my life, and after what I’ve read about this fizzy-farty, hyper-enducing liquid, I’m oh so glad. The small print on the back of the can lists a whole host of ingredients that your average lad or lass (because it seems to me to be a bit of a young ‘uns drink) wouldn’t even bother looking twice at.


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Glucuronolactone Among them is something called glucuronolactone. This is an artificially manufactured stimulant developed in the early sixties by the American government which was first used in the Vietnam War to boost the morale of American GI’s found to be suffering from stress or battle fatigue. However, it was then banned after just a few years following several deaths and hundreds of reported cases involving anything from severe migraines to brain tumors in personnel who had been prescribed the stimulant. That was way back in 1973, yet glucuronolactone is still banned from commercial consumption in the USA to this date.

Bad News The bad news is that the substance never found it’s way to Europe and has subsequently never had the need to be banned by the EU. However, a recent article in the British Medical Journal has highlighted a growing number of cases reported by doctors and surgeons involving the very same side-effects as those discovered by Americans in the 70’s. And, somewhat alarmingly, all the patients were regular Red Bull drinkers. It is believed that the ingredients and safety of Red Bull are currently under review in at least three major European countries. This article was first published in The Edge’s December 2000 editons.

EDGE COLUMNISTS WHEN THEY’RE NOT WRITING THEIR COLUMNS Read all about it in Tracie’s column on page 30...

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Combine football with sun and we have hit the jackpot. Mrs Mott and I were in central London on ‘Sweden Saturday’. We had left Westminster and were making our way toward the Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane area for refreshments. We had been bobbing in and out of the football scores, but as we walked along, me resplendent in my summer hat, people were coming toward us wanting to high-five and exchange goodwill. For a brief moment my vanity took over and I was wondering if my ‘outing‘ on the July page 3 had spread this far south and that acknowledgement was mine at last, before I retuned back into Reality FM (we had obviously won). The atmosphere in the late afternoon sun was fantastic, the same in the bars; how lovely.

Man on the Clapham Omnibus

HOMAGE TO THE SUN It is acknowledged that the British rely on a couple of key subjects of conversation: sport (mainly football) and our reliable and internationally acknowledged safe standby subject, the weather. Optimum conversation opportunities prevail when the two merge, with smiling chatty Brits talking to each other and heaven forbid even complete strangers. It proves that when there are things to feel good about, we can as a nation, actually like ourselves. The prolonged sunshine has been wonderful and let’s hope it continues, but in true Brit fashion, we have started to complain. It’s too hot, it’s gone on for too long, the garden needs some rain, blah, blah. Now these statements may have a grain of truth about them but, c’mon, how nice has it been to sit in the garden ’til late at night and go out at the weekend, safe in the knowledge that even in July your coat can stay in the cupboard. Yes, the trains are hot, I know, because I catch one every single day. Our friends at Abbot & Costello (sorry, Greater Anglia) have even managed to keep the heating on and enforce their strange policy of closing all the windows when a train reaches Liverpool Street. But even this has not dampened the creeping good feeling that has emerged as we bask in unprecedented levels of vitamin-D. A good friend and I joke each year, right after mid-summers day, in a nod to his late dad, that it’s time to order some more coal as the nights are drawing in. But at least as the nights grow ever so slightly darker they are balmy, where you can sit in the garden and look at the stars, whilst ordering your winter fuel.

Shame that just a few hours later there was the inevitable trouble in Brick Lane by a shirtless few, which was soon quelled, but cast a nasty shadow on the prevailing carnival mindset. How does football manage to create such excitement and stupidity in equal measures, side-by-side. The sunshine makes us feel good. We can dress up, or down, far more easily, leave our winter hats and raincoats at home and bronze our pasty English skin whilst moaning half heartedly that it’s far too hot. We can drink until late, eat outside without going to Spain, examine our tan lines (and get told off by an expert for sunning ourselves), watch our chickens lay ready fried eggs and be all the happier for it.

Once we chuck in a national football team that showed verve and promise for the first time in years, the mood lifted further to strangely giddy heights. People became intoxicated by the feel good factor. These feelings can do strange things to people. Let’s look at EE himself, who has recently been suffering from the new condition called ‘footysun feelgooditus’. We know, for sure, a couple of things about EE, these being mostly northern and wallet related. It was just a few seasons back he was regaling us with tales of woe after another drenching at the Durdle Door and that cheap weekends in Spain were the way forward. Yet in the last edition, here is a man who we know is highly concerned about the welfare of the notes in his wallet, preparing to splash out. And it’s a decent amount too, on a camper van, after espousing the beauty of England and Wales in the sunshine. As they used to say in old black and white melodrama films, “It must be the heat, Carruthers.”

So in the spirit of this nice, dreamy summer mood, I can put in the highbrow bit and a quote from the author John Steinbeck: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness”. For most Brits, they will just be relieved that it’s finally hot enough to complain about!

Yours aye,

Advance registration closes Wednesday 5th September

Sunday 16th September 2018

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was so much fun and laughter going on backstage, I had never seen anything quite like it ever before.

TOTALLY TRACIE BURLESQUE Some of you may recall that I told you about a Ladies Burlesque Group (Essex Burlesque) that I was putting together earlier on this year. Well, I am so happy to tell you about this group of ladies seven month's on. We put on our very first show last month and raised £350 for Ladies Living with Cancer. Our group is made up of women aged 17-70, because age is no barrier, nor is ability nor disability. I wanted to start a ladies group based on kindness and support. Many of our girls have suffered illness or trauma/bereavement/loneliness etc. At the outset, I made it clear that it did not matter if anyone was overweight or had never danced before. The only requisite was a willingness to learn and kindness to each other. People in the Industry were very sceptical of my abilities and told me I would never do it, but I was determined to show that in today's world, the milk of human kindness can still shine through. You don't have to be perfect or talented. All you have to be is determined to want to change your life. I wanted to teach body confidence and bring friendships together. And so the ladies came and they rehearsed and rehearsed twice a week for months, and in between that time they made costumes with the more experienced sewing ladies teaching the younger members. Skills within the group were traded and laughter rang out. I never heard a cross word in all of the rehearsals. These women were so supportive of each other. If someone was struggling everyone stepped in to help. Everyone was made to feel special, needed and included. Everyone brought something to the group. On the night of our show everyone pitched in to help, lending costumes, bunting, props and make-up. The atmosphere was electric. Having been in previous productions, I know that the backstage atmosphere can get very tense, snappy and bitchy. It’s often literally everyone for themselves. But our group was the polar opposite. The laughter, fun and pure comradeship was a sight to behold. Everyone was helping each other into costumes, lacing up corsets and helping each other with make-up. There

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Then the show started and everyone was naturally nervous, this being their first time performing in front of family and friends, but the audience loved them. People were just so shocked at how good they were. Many were expecting an amateur ladies dance group to come out, but one look at the detailed crystal costumes and the dance moves told them that this was anything but. All the girls looked amazing and danced like true professionals in perfect time. Five dance routines were done to perfection as well as 4 separate solo acts. I danced in a teacup and feathered fans to Hey Big Spender whilst others performed solos to Pink Panther, Pussycat Dolls’ Buttons and You Spin me Right Round complete with light up bras! It was burlesque at its finest and brought the audience to their feet cheering and clapping. The finale was Christina Aguilera's Candyman where the ladies dressed in individual military costumes and the audience joined in. What a night it was - a night that will live with me for the rest of my life. The ladies changed so much that night. They truly found themselves and were awarded ‘Real Showgirl Performance Awards’. They had so much confidence by the end of the show that no matter what happens to them from here on in, they can look the world in the eye and say: “I did it”. And they most certainly did. I have never been as proud as I felt that night. They were amazing. The girls showed everyone just how good they were and what they were capable of. What's more, we are going to do it all over again in December and the ladies are now all busy preparing for a Christmas show which I just know will be fantastic. This is such an exceptional group, based on friendship, loyalty and kindness to one another. In a world that is so fast-paced and often uncaring, it just goes to show that it is still possible to belong to something amazing, simply by all pulling together, which makes us strong. We are all so very proud of each other and of our group. We now think of ourselves as being a ‘Burlesque Family’. Essex Burlesque currently has a long waiting list. However, we hope to be able to start a new beginners class later on this year in South Woodham Ferrers. So if you feel you too would like to do something amazing and change your life, please email me so that I can add you to the list at We are also hoping to offer 1-to-1 lessons, so if you would like to learn ‘Burlesque & the Art of the Tease’ either individually or as a group, please email me for further details.



The Edge 262_The Edge 172.qxd 26/07/2018 14:33 Page 31

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