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vantagepointmag.co.uk

Farnham & Villages • February 2014

VANTAGEPOINT YOUR COMMUNITY  YOUR VIEW

MAGAZINE

EVERYTHING’S COMING UP

ROSES

Also inside: JOTTINGS COMPETITIONS WOODLARKS CAMP SITE

Behind the scenes at Seale Nursery


You and Your Home

Farnham based Charlie Smith with her take on health, home and food and how small changes can create a wellness lifestyle in the home and in our lives.

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t’s the beginning of a new and energising year so I am going to kick start my article with the subject of integrating ‘You and Your Home’. This is the wellness of us as individuals, teamed with the positive energy we can create in our homes, through food, fitness and taking care of ourselves. The Christmas indulgence has now passed and, like me, I am sure there are many of you who want to start the New Year with focus, achieve goals and aspire to change little things in our lives that will enable us to be healthier and happier people. Sometimes these things might be a change in our eating habits, our lifestyle, or our fitness levels, or it is about changing our homes and living spaces. Possibly all of them. These adjustments are all linked in some way to how we feel, so what better way to start the New Year with not only a new you, but also a new living space. I follow food and nutrition, healthy eating and exercise trends, the way we live and our different lifestyles with great interest. In the past I have trained as a personal trainer, I am a trained stylist on interiors and a health conscious cook. I have spent years in and around these industries so finally I now want to bring them all together to create a wellness lifestyle, both in the home and in our lives. YOUR HEALTH Running Got a lot on your mind? Take a run. It’s a great way to clear your head and sort out your thoughts, while getting good exercise. Long distance runs can help relieve tension, headaches and stress, while short, speed runs are great for releasing built up energy or anxiety. Three short distance runs per week seem to work for me, they really set me up for a positive day. If work does not permit running in the daytime, a short run in the evenings will help with sleep and relaxation.. 8

Hot Yoga

I have recently discovered the newly opened little Hot Spot, Pure Hot Yoga in Godalming. A fantastic hot yoga studio for all levels of enthusiasts,and a place that has calm energy and terrific teachers. I have tried yoga for years and years and just could not get on with it, until now! Hot Yoga has been enjoying a surge in popularity all around the world in recent years and with good reason, it works. A regular Hot Yoga practice brings all of the benefits you would expect from any yoga practice together with increased flexibility, dramatic weight loss and toning, total body detoxification, bright glowing skin and a feeling of deep mental relaxation.

A Hot Yoga class will systematically work every major muscle group in your body, providing deep stretching and lengthening of the muscles, calming of the nervous system and relaxation of the mind. The heat will cause your heart rate to rise, providing an exceptional cardio vascular workout, aiding dramatic weight loss and toning results. Practising yoga in the heat requires mental focus and mindful breath, this in turn will serve to calm your mind and allow the stresses of daily life to melt away. Then of course there is the sweat, lots of it, providing a deep detoxifying cleanse from inside to out that will leave you feeling lighter, brighter and inspired to extend healthy living beyond the yoga studio. The Studio will be running courses and workshops throughout the year so please check out the website www.purehotyoga. co.uk or email info@purehotyoga.co.uk. They often some great introductory offers. vantagepointmag.co.uk


LIFE

YOUR HOME

YOUR FOOD

Out with the old and in with the new Some easy things worth doing include de-cluttering, turning out kitchen cupboards and switching your foods, and putting fresh new colours on the walls for spring, but how about making an area designated for you in your home that is purely for relaxing?

Many people are seeking to take control of their inner health. One self-help strategy is to make changes to what we eat, as there is a growing interest in how food and nutrition can affect our emotional and mental wellness.

Imagine your very own designated chill area where you can hide out and chat with friend, watch movies and read or meditate. Here are some essential set-up tips that will help you create the lounge of your dreams.

Eat as much food that is natural; fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and pulses are always a good starting point. Removing sugar and wheat from our daily food intake is also a winner for seeing and feeling quick results.

Step 1: Find the Spot Every room has a corner just waiting to be cleared out and converted into a lounging-only zone. Scope out your space, rearrange furniture and make way for your cosy area. Wherever your magical spot may be, it’s got to have a certain level of privacy and separation from the rest of the house. Hang some fabric or light airy curtains strategically to keep it separated. Step 2: Reserved Seating Every seat must be equally comfy and lounge-worthy (think beanbag chair and, jumbo floor pillows). This is really important, as lounging tends to take place in a sprawl. A supersoft area rug is lovely on bare feet and good to stretch out on. Step 3: Mood Lighting Soft, low-wattage light sources are essential to the relaxing mood of the chill zone. Step 4: Go Low You’ll need a big, low-to-the-ground surface, like a low level coffee table, to provide a central point and hold all your mugs, books and magazines. Throw some of your jumbo pillows down and you have created a chill zone. Candles are of course essential February 2014

FIND OUT MORE

Check out The Flexi Foodie for delicious healthy options for snacking and energy boosting recipes at http://theflexifoodie.wordpress.com. Julie Montagu is an expert on food and transformational yoga. For more information on any of these suggested lifestyle changes please contact Charlie on 07770568307 or charlie@charliesmith.biz. All photography by David Spink Photography. Tel 07966 238341. www.davidspinkphotography.com.

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Roses

EVERYTHING’S COMING UP

As St. Valentine’s Day approaches there’s one flower that fills our shops and restaurants. Yet roses are great to give and receive throughout the year, as Viv Micklefield discovers on a visit to specialist local grower, Seale Nurseries.

“Roses are what we are,” says Catherine May proudly. And you wouldn’t argue with this. The Silver Gilt Medal certificate, scooped at last summer’s Hampton Court Flower Show, hangs confidently beside the many other top awards that she and husband David have won over recent decades. In fact, wherever you turn at Seale Nurseries, near Farnham, it’s all about this perennially popular flower. The last thing you’ll find here, however, are buckets crammed with garishly dyed petals atop spindly stems that have been suffocated in cellophane. There are no cut flowers for sale. Instead, time it right and what you will see is a veritable feast of climbing roses, vigorously weaving through trellises, scaling walls and cascading over pergolas, as well as fragrant shrub roses, perfect for borders and tubs. There’s been a nursery on the site since 1948 when David’s father first opened Seale Rose Gardens in the midst of the nation’s 14

post-war austerity. As Catherine observes of her father-in law: “He was very enterprising, to set up on his own, with a young family to support. And David’s early memories as a child include watching his father propagating by grafting briers that he’d pull out of the local hedgerows.” Having once grown roses in open fields, these days, the second-generation of Mays now use a different system, within their four acres. As Catherine explains, at Seale gone are the so-called bare root roses that were once lifted and sold for planting out in the autumn. Today, thanks to the nursery’s patented Seale Super Rose Method, plants are grown directly in pots from the beginning. This enables a rose to be transplanted, at any time of year, with minimal disturbance straight to its final resting position in the customer’s garden. Here it will grow very quickly, so you no longer have to wait a couple of

Our gardens might also be smaller and most of us have less time available to spend in tending them, but what hasn’t changed is our love affair with fragrance, and roses still deliver this in abundance

years for significant growth. Additionally, if you‘re after an instant effect, there’s a great choice of big climbers - already tall and well established, that will suit all sorts of situations. Talking to Catherine, who’s a qualified horticulturalist, what’s interesting is discovering the fusion between the traditional and the contemporary lifestyle that roses allow you to enjoy. “People’s gardening habits have changed so much,” she says. “They want flowers that give them value

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Above left: Perennial Blue climbing rose. Above right: Morning Mist shrub rose. Below: Catherine May with Sorbet Fruite rose

for money, starting in June and flowering through to the first frosts. The day of the rose bed, 1950’s style, is over. Today’s garden has drifts of mixed planting with roses interspersed. It’s a more natural, romantic look.” Our gardens might also be smaller and most of us have less time available to spend in tending them, but what hasn’t changed is our love affair with fragrance, and roses still deliver this in abundance. Although they don’t grow a rose unless it has a good scent, as Catherine’s quick to point out, everyone’s sense of smell differs, which can on occasion lead to family disputes. Old favourites such as the highly scented, double bloomed climber Madame Alfred Carrière remains popular. While under a royalty system they also graft on to new roses grown by internationally respected breeders; these include David Austin, Harkness and Warner, which adds to the enormous variety currently on offer. Also important is colour. And here too you’re certainly spoilt for choice. From the exotic Sorbet Fruite, with its vibrantly striped orange and yellow flowers that fade to pink and cream, to the appropriately named deep crimson coloured, Love Knot. The ‘colourful’ names given to roses can certainly evoke some wonderful memories – unsurprisingly Warm Welcome is a popular gift for a new home, while Star Performer is perfect for a special achievement. The list goes on and on. >16 February 2014

Catherine May’s top tips for blooming good rose plants • Apply a regular liquid feed – tomato food works wonders during the summer months; • Roses need plenty of moisture, don’t forget to water when it’s dry; • Any rose should grow well as long as they receive at least ½ a day of sun; • Deadheading never stops if you want long-term flowering; • Soil conditions can be improved with a blended manure but this needs to be sterile; • If a rose has been heavily attacked by aphids, cut it right back, feed it and wait for re-growth. 15


Above: Madame Alfred Carrière rose

Tales of love and passion Roses have been symbolically linked to myth and folklore for centuries. • The Ancient Greek goddess Cybele ‘created’ the first rose in a fit of jealousy to ensure there was something on earth more beautiful than her arch rival Aphrodite; • According to Roman storytellers the red rose comes from the blushing Venus after Jupiter saw her bathing; • In Christianity the white rose of Eden turns a deep red when Eve kisses it; • 11th century Sufi poetry represents the rose as a symbol of life – its beauty perfection, its thorns the difficulties that need to be overcome to reach that perfection; • What’s in a colour? Traditionally: red roses mean love and respect, deep pink roses mean gratitude and appreciation, and white roses mean reverence and humility. Viv Micklefield is a freelance writer based in South West Surrey. She can be contacted at vivmicklefield@aol.com. 16

< 15 Of course, being specialists, Catherine and David have an almost encyclopedic knowledge when it comes to getting the best out of a rose. Whether it’s how to reduce the use of pesticides and other nasties while keeping plants healthy, pruning advice or simply realizing the look you want to achieve in your garden, there’s a ready answer available. They also offer a ‘rose rescue’ service, which might involve grafting a favourite rose on to new root stock. And, when not up to their elbows in plant care themselves, this busy duo happily give talks and demonstrations. With just Catherine and David running the nursery there’s no doubt it’s a full-time job. None more so than during the peak ‘show-time,’ when there are exhibits at both RHS Hampton Court and at the annual Loseley Park Garden Show to build. Over the years, they have also become familiar faces at local farmers’ markets. “We eat, sleep, and breathe it. It’s all consuming,” Catherine admits. And as she heads off, secateurs at the ready, closely followed by her aptly named spaniels Flora and Rosie, it’s hard to imagine her doing anything else. FIND OUT MORE

Seale Nurseries, Seale Lane, Seale, Farnham GU10 1LD Tel: 01252 782410, www.sealenurseries.co.uk Nursery opening hours: Tues to Sat 10am-4pm (other times by appointment) vantagepointmag.co.uk


There is nothing like a

Dame

With power cuts, high winds and possible flooding, the lead up to Christmas and New Year was rather challenging for many of us in this area. Even one of our best loved actors had to have sardines on toast for Christmas lunch, but she was all smiles a few days later when it was announced that she had been made a Dame Commander of the British Empire to her “delight and disbelief”.

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enelope Keith said of her honour: “I found out six weeks ago but the way it works is that they send you a letter and then you have to eat it and keep quiet on pain of death,” she joked. “And I must admit that when the electricity went off I rather forgot about it.” Dame Penelope, who has lived in Milford for more than 25 years, is instantly recognisable to most of us as the fabulous snob Margot Leadbetter from The Good Life (pictured left) and the manipulative but kind-hearted Audrey fforbes-Hamilton in To The Manor Born. Both roles catapulted her into an enormously popular TV star. Cast as the (originally unseen) wife of Jerry in The Good Life, the role became more prominent as Keith’s brilliant acting and the comedy potential of Margot became quickly apparent. In 1977, that part earnt her the BAFTA for Best Light Entertainment Performance and later that year she appeared in the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show. Another BAFTA winning performance came in 1978 for the television adaptation of the The Norman Conquests. Between 1979 and 1981, she took the lead in To the Manor Born, which saw a massive 23.95 million viewers tune in for its final episode. She appeared in a further six sitcoms in the 1990s. Penelope Keith began her career in repertory theatre before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963 and was a mainstay in the success of the Chichester Festival Theatre. Her theatre credits include Michael Frayn’s The Norman Conquests in 1974 and Alan Ayckbourn’s Donkey’s Years in 1975, for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance. She returned to the stage in earnest in the late 1990s, with performances which included Keith February 2014

Waterstone’s Good Grief (1998), Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit (2004), Richard Everett’s Entertaining Angels (2006) and as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (2007). More recently she starred in Good Grief at the Yvonne Arnaud in 2012, in which she was excellent as ever. Of course, it is also for her charitable works that Dame Penelope has been honoured. She succeeded Lord Olivier as president of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund after his death in 1989 and she is also patron of a number of local charities such as Oakleaf, the mental health charity based in Guildford, the Surrey Hills AONB, Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, the Therapy Garden in Normandy, Surrey Gardens Trust and Godalming based Compassion in World Farming. In 2002, she began a one-year term as High Sheriff of Surrey, only the third woman to hold the post. Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, the role of Sheriff is appointed by the Queen. It is mainly ceremonial, as the Queen’s legal representative in the county. She is also a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey. Keith said: “It’s a recognition for not only my 54 years being an actress but also for all the charities with which I’m associated and I think they’ll be thrilled.” As of course are her legion of admirers both locally and nationally... SR 19


A Big Bard Year Ahead

For Surrey’s professional Shakespeare company, Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC), February 2014 kicks off their most ambitious year to date. Co-founder Matt Pinches looks back to the beginning and ahead at what this year has in store.

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013 proved to be the company’s most popular yet with 8,500 people attending the 72 performances produced, and 1,400 people, some as young as seven, enjoying classes, school workshops and talks delivered by the company throughout the year.

So how do you better that in 2014? Well, this year the company, which is a registered charity, will become a year round producer for the first time. To add to the winter and summer seasons a new third season will be introduced in the in the autumn. There will also be celebration events for Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday in April; the third Sonnet Walk Weekend; and an expansion in the education work the company already undertakes. This ambitious year kicks off in February with the company’s 20th production as they return to Holy Trinity Church on Guildford High Street with Shakespeare’s Othello. This is Shakespeare’s chilling psychological thriller of betrayal, jealousy and suspicion. Directed by Caroline Devlin (Macbeth, 2013), the play is set against the claustrophobic backdrop of 1950s Cold War paranoia. A talented cast has been assembled whose pedigree includes RSC, National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the West End, as well as performances with Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras. Actor David Carr will be taking the title role. Last year he understudied Adrian Lester in the National Theatre’s hit production, and Rosalind 20

Blessed, daughter of actor Brian Blessed, will be playing Emelia. Familiar faces also return to the company in the form of Chris Porter (A Midsummer Night’s Dream/Merry Wives 2012) as the villain Iago, and local actor and Guildford Dad James Chalmers (Richard III, 2012) as the Governor of Cyprus. To accompany the production there is an eclectic events programme which includes a talk and book-signing by award-winning writer Charles Nicholl on his book The Lodger which deals with the time Shakespeare was writing Othello. There is also a talk and debate about the character of Iago; a young actors’ workshop; a post-show discussion; and an audio-described performance for the blind. But how did GSC begin? The company was established in 2006 by two local actors, Matt Pinches and Sarah Gobran, with an objective to re-ignite people’s passion for Shakespeare and theatre-going by producing immersive, accessible and innovative home-grown theatre in interesting and unusual non-theatre spaces. Over the last eight years they have produced 19 site-responsive productions, given 324 performances, seen by over 37,800 people and created 190 jobs. In addition to this other achievements include two Sonnet Walk Weekends; two Best Cultural Event of the Year awards; twice Finalists at the Toast of Surrey Business Awards, and in 2013, the Mayor’s Award for Access Through the Arts. As Co-Founder and Producer, I feel that locally produced professional theatre is important. Our productions seek to place the audience right at the heart of the action, using each venue to its best advantage. In this way the whole area becomes the acting vantagepointmag.co.uk


STAGE

Over the last eight years they have produced 19 site-responsive productions, given 324 performances, seen by over 37,800 people and created 190 jobs.

space with actors performing in a spectrum of places in and around the audience, thus challenging their usually passive involvement in conventional theatre. With more and more people seemingly glued to tablets, mobile phones and home entertainment systems, the need for human contact and interaction has never been more important and theatre is perfectly placed to fill this need.

Live theatre is a perfect way for communities to come together and not only experience great performances, but also to share each other’s stories, lives and thoughts. Sadly, there are still pre-conceptions about the theatre - that is expensive or for an educated elite and our mandate is to challenge those perceptions and re-invigorate the simple act of theatre-going. GSC’s year continues in April as they join the national celebrations for Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday with a series of special events including The Other Shakespeare written by Roy Chatfield - a one-woman show about Shakespeare’s wife, starring GSC veteran actor Johanne Murdock, whilst I will be giving an illustrated talk (with birthday cake!) on the Bard’s life before the theatre and how life in Stratford influenced his writing. The celebrations culminate at the end of April with the third Sonnet Walk Weekend. The company’s other Co-founder and Producer Sarah summed up the ambitions of the year: “Our aim is to engage with over 12,000 people through professional theatre and education programmes created, delivered and performed right on their doorstep, giving more people a positive and sustainable experience of the world’s most famous playwright.” This aim is brought to the fore in their ninth Summer Season. Another open air double bill of audience favourites will see the company return to the Castle Gardens with the brilliantly funny Twelfth Night in June, followed in July by the rousing Henry V which is sure to entice and challenge audiences with a brand new venue; the iconic Guildford Cathedral. February 2014

The inaugural Autumn Season will bring the year to a close with a unique staging of Chaucer’s bawdy classic The Canterbury Tales at a venue yet to be announced. Sarah concludes: “Generations have studied Shakespeare’s work in school mainly from a literary perspective. When individuals have the opportunity to see the text live, the world of the play is opened up to them, the character’s circumstances and dilemma’s are real and they are given an opportunity to engage directly with the story and the action. Suddenly it’s not “all Greek to me” but rather an event which they are part of. One of the most rewarding – and regular – comments we receive is “I never thought Shakespeare could be like that!” Add to this the three after-school primary Shakespeare clubs, Saturday morning Drama and Stage-Fighting Classes for teenagers and evening classes for adults, as well as the schools’ workshops for Year 5 up to university level which the company already delivers, and 2014 is certainly going to be one big Bard year for GSC. In As You Like It, the heroine Rosalind asks “Can one have too much of a good thing?” - to which GSC gives a resounding “Never!”. FIND OUT MORE

For Othello tickets, Annual Passes and more details about GSC and the work it does, visit www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01483 304384. Images taken from past productions.

GUILDFORD SHAKESPEARE COMPANY PRESENTS

Directed by CAROLINE DEVLIN Designed by NEIL IRISH Lighting by DECLAN RANDALL Sound by MATT EATON

5 - 22 FEB 2014 | HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, GUILDFORD HIGH STREET Box Office 01483 304384 | www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk PRINCIPAL SPONSOR

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Woodlarks H

olidays should be fun, relaxing, friendly and even adventurous. But if you are disabled, if you can do very little for yourself, where can you go? The answer is Woodlarks!

Woodlarks is a beautiful 12 acre site on the edge of the Bourne woods. Over the last 80 years since the camp site began, hundreds of disabled people, cared for by volunteer helpers, have enjoyed the fun, friendship and expanded horizons which it offers. Twenty camps span the summer from May to September. Each group organiser is responsible for recruiting and vetting their own volunteers which, including kitchen, medical and other staff, normally total two per disabled camper. Around a thousand people camp here each year. In term time, several Special Schools bring groups of pupils with their own staff. However the majority of the weeks are taken by particular groups, some for children, some for adults with varied needs and interests, all of which are staffed by volunteers. The real sense of community in each group is often life changing. Comradeship is the key, with each disabled camper paired with a buddy. Together, whatever the level of their disability, they take part in camp chores such as washing up, and together they enjoy the activities. One group can try their luck in zorbing globes in the outdoor heated pool down in the sheltered valley, while others scuba dive. Some who are visually impaired can go at dusk to the nearby river Wey to listen, on devices which reduce frequency, for bats pursuing insects. Some groups go water skiing or ride Alice Holt Forest’s wheelchair-friendly bicycles. On site, a zip wire with special seat runs through the tree tops. There’s a trampoline and equipment for games, a bird hide and BBQ sites in the woods. Alongside the brick dining room is Bradbury Croft, built in 2009, which provides up-to-date welfare facilities and two sleeping rooms with electronically adjustable beds. Most comers prefer, if they can, to sleep in one of the Woodlarks tents, or even to bring their own. The swimming pool is a major feature of the camping experience. Constructed in 1966 as the result of an outstanding Week’s Good Cause appeal, it is in good order and declared to be sound for the future. The water in the pool is heated to 85°F (32°C), Bliss for those as Simon who can do nothing for himself. 22

The problem we want to overcome is that leaving the warm water to get dressed, you get cold. The changing rooms and showers, built in the 1960s, are open fronted and basic. So we plan to build new warm changing rooms with aids such as ceiling hoists, and we are making every effort to raise the funds to pay for them. Woodlarks is run entirely by volunteers, with winter week-end working parties doing the majority of the maintenance work. Currently we urgently need to recruit additional volunteers, to look after some specific areas, such as: • Is there anyone out there with practical experience who could take care of the pool filtration? • Or make sure that the zip wire is running properly and safely? • Do any of you know about COSHH and could manage that? • Swimming sessions need lifeguards, and while some groups bring their own, it would be great if some local lifeguards could come in by arrangement to help out. FIND OUT MORE

Please do contact us for more information – we’re a friendly lot! Email alexine@highwray73.co.uk or clivespooner@aol.com. woodlarks.org.uk. NOTE: The Woodlarks Centre originated through Woodlarks Camp Site Trust so that we confusingly have the same name. The two are totally separate. vantagepointmag.co.uk


Pets as therapy P

ets As Therapy is a national charity that works very much locally and is probably best known by the acronym of PAT, cleverly taking the initials of Pets As Therapy and thereby producing PAT Dogs, although they do have some PAT Cats too. This charity was set up 30 years ago and although still small they have about 5,000 visiting PAT Dogs and 100 PAT Cats that between them visit approximately seven million people every year. These animals bring a smile and joy to people in nursing and care homes, day centres, hospices and hospitals when working with stroke patients, phobic patients and people with depression. It’s surprising how having a dog or cat visit someone in these establishments can really make a difference to their lives - for instance, one lady in a care home said “that’s the best thing that’s happened to me since I’ve been here”. One volunteer was told to ignore a man in another care home as he never spoke to anyone - the volunteer ignored the instruction and the lonely man opened up and chatted to the dog - and then to the volunteer. Animals are also taken to visit mainstream and special needs schools offering with the new service to schools of Read 2 Dogs. The value of Read 2 Dogs is in its simplicity. Many children seem naturally comfortable in the presence of dogs. Parents and teachers can use this special relationship to enhance literary skills and encourage reading in a relaxed environment, with dog and child sitting together. This contact between dog and child encourages physical interaction which helps to put the child at ease. The dog acts as a non-judgemental listener and offers comfort to the child who may find reading difficult or stressful. 28

The local Voluntary Area Co-ordinator is Patricia Bland who looks after about 90 volunteers in and around the Godalming area but spreading out to Haslemere, Farnham and Cranleigh in Surrey and also Petworth, Midhurst and Billingshurst in West Sussex - and all points in-between. Each dog or cat is owned by a registered volunteer who makes regular visits into various establishments. Before any animal and volunteer are accepted as a Pets As Therapy visiting team, they must undergo an assessment which is carried out by one of the Charity’s nationwide team of assessors. Patricia is also the local Temperament Assessor of the potential dogs and this test ensures that the dogs are suitable as no jumping up or pawing is permitted and the owners need to be able to demonstrate control of their socially acceptable dogs, who love being stroked and handled by strangers. As the animal’s temperament is more important than its breed, size or shape, no breed is excluded and cross breeds and rescue dogs are welcomed - after all this is a Temperament Assessment not a Breed Assessment. Patricia then assists volunteers in finding a suitable place to visit, taking care that the owner and the dog are happy where they are taken to visit. Patricia regularly takes a team of volunteers with their very special dogs to local village fêtes during the summer and with their yellow and black uniforms the volunteers are easily recognisable, as are their canine friends in their yellow PAT coats. Information talks are also on her agenda and local Women’s Institutes, Rotary and Inner Wheel clubs as well as local schools and dog clubs have been lucky enough to hear all about the Charity and made generous donations to help with the good work that this hard working band of volunteers do. FIND OUT MORE

If this sounds of interest to you with your dog (or cat), do look up their website on www.petsastherapy.org or give Patricia Bland a call on 01428 685154 or contact her by email on p.bland@btconnect.com.

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A Local Menu

This month we feature recipes from two of our local chefs, both well worth a try

Troels Bendix Troels Bendix founded The Hungry Guest in Petworth in 2011. Initially opening with a café in the town, the business now includes a café, artisan bakery and food shop. Troels originally trained at the Culinary Institute of Denmark before moving to London to train at the Sugar Club. He is a fully trained chef having worked up from an apprentice in Denmark. In 2001 he founded Breads Etcetera growing from a one man band to a bakery with its own shop and café suppling outlets in London. The Hungry Guest is unique in that it produces so many of its own products, all carefully developed by Troels and more often than not made by his own fair hands. He is very careful to select only the best ingredients and suppliers and provenance is something he is particularly passionate about. He is also renowned for his baking skills and real bread. The extensive range of sour dough that is sold through the Petworth outlet has won many national awards since its launch.

Soft Spiced Braised Lamb Shank Casserole Ingredients Sunflower oil 8 lamb shanks 2 onions 4 cloves of garlic 4 large carrots, sliced 4 parsnips, sliced Sprinkling of salt 1 tbsp turmeric 1 tsp ground ginger 1 dried red chilli pepper, crumbled or 1⁄4 tsp dried chilli flakes 2 tsps cinnamon 10 whole cardamom pods 1 tbsp tomato paste 4 cloves Black pepper 2 tbsps honey 80g flaked almonds Serves 6

The Hungry Guest, Lombard Street, Petworth. Tel: 01798 344564 34

1. Put 3 tablespoons of the oil into a very large, wide, heavy-bottomed pan and warm over medium heat. Brown the lamb shanks, in batches, in the pan and then remove to a roasting tin or whatever else you’ve got to hand to sit them in. 2. Peel the onions and garlic and process in a food processor or chop them finely by hand. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and fry the onions and garlic until soft, sprinkling salt over to stop it catching. Stir in the turmeric, ground ginger, chilli, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, tomato paste and season

with some ground pepper. Stir again and add the honey. 3. Put the shanks back into the pan, add cold water almost to cover, bring to the boil and then put a lid on the pan. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 1-11⁄2 hours or until the meat is tender. 4. Add your sliced carrots and parsnips to the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes longer without the lid, until the juices have reduced and thickened slightly. Check for seasoning. 5. Toast the nuts by heating them for a few minutes in a dry frying pan, and sprinkle onto the lamb as you serve it. vantagepointmag.co.uk


FOOD

Jay Williams This recipe from Jay Williams, the rising star Head Chef of Wheatsheaf, of West Street, Farnham This is a parfait I love to make for Valentines evening. It is always very well received as it is simple, clean and has light flavours, and acts like a palette cleanser at the end of a meal, which always helps on such a night! My inspiration for this particular recipe came from my wife-to-be who is a big fan of lemoncello. It is not a difficult recipe to tackle, please give it a go and you will most certainly impress your partner, whether for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day or any other special occasion.

Chilled limoncello parfait with raspberry coulis Ingredients For the parfait: 1 large egg, plus 5 yolks 100g caster sugar Zest of 2 lemons 25ml lemon juice ½ sheet gelatine 60ml limoncello 300ml double cream For the coulis: 500g raspberries 100g caster sugar Makes 1 terrine, enough for 10 servings

The Wheatsheaf, 19 West Street, Farnham. Tel: 01252 717135 February 2014

1. Mix the egg, egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl above a pan of barely simmering water and whisk the mixture until it reaches 80C. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until it reaches room temperature 2. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in a little water. 3. Gently heat the lemoncello in a small pan and add the squeezed out softened gelatine and stir in thoroughly. Gently whisk this into the cooled lemon mixture and set aside. 4. In a separate bowl whisk the cream

to a ribbon consistency, and gently fold into the lemon mixture with a metal spoon. Place the mix into a lined terrine mould and freeze for at least 3 hours. 5. For the coulis, take 300g of the raspberries and place in a food processor with the caster sugar. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside. 6. To serve, place a slice of the parfait on a chilled plate, decorate with the reserved raspberries and a spoonful of the coulis and garnish with fresh mint.

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GARDEN

What to do in

February

With Matthew Pottage, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley

F

ebruary is a time of year to do some good old-fashioned graft in the garden in readiness for the season ahead. While the ground is not frozen, it is a great time to dig over empty allotment plots and any borders you plan to renovate or replant in the spring. If you have a heavy soil with clay content then leaving upturned sods of earth for the frost to break apart can take some of the effort out of creating that wonderful tilth we all hear about when it comes to sowing seeds directly into vegetable plots in the spring. It is also a good time of year to apply a good thick mulch of organic matter to any borders where you have ornamental shrubs or perennials. Make sure you do this when the ground isn’t frozen, but by doing it now, you are sealing in the moisture and giving the worms time to start incorporating this goodness into the root zone before the plants wake up.

Winter Colour If you want a little more colour in your garden in the winter, now is a good time to take an amble round Wisley and pick up some ideas from what is looking good in the garden and plant centre. The colourful stemmed shrubs around the Seven Acres lake are in full glow (above right), including a couple of my favourites; Cornus ‘Magic Flame’ and the powdery white stemmed Rubus biflorus. There are flowers to enjoy too, and witch hazels with their spidery, highly fragrant flowers are always a real winter treat. Every year I rediscover my love for them

when I come across the first one in bloom. The smell is just heavenly and with colours ranging from flame shades of yellow and orange through to bright reds they provide a wonderful booster to any garden in winter. Come and see them at Wisley and choose your favourite but make sure you don’t miss bright yellow cultivar ‘Pallida’ (below right) which gets my vote as the best.

Taking stock after the storms It’s been a particularly stormy couple of months and many gardeners will have had to cope with a few sad losses amongst their trees. Mostly it tends to be older, declining trees that succumb to bad weather and while the loss of old trees is always sad, it’s inevitable and makes us think of the importance of planting succession trees for tomorrow. However I’ve noticed losses amongst some of the more recently planted trees in the gardens and streets around Surrey as well as older, more mature trees. Younger losses usually mean that the tree has failed to establish properly – a typical cause of this is poor planting technique. Buying pot bound trees that have been hanging around on the nursery for years isn’t necessarily time or money well spent. Unless they can be properly pulled apart, the circling roots often don’t spread out as they should and will continue to develop in a crowded, cage-like fashion, 38

depriving the young tree of anchorage as it grows and leaving it vulnerable to strong winds. Anyone whose garden has suffered a bit of damage and is in need of a refresher could do worse than coming along to Wisley where we deliver a course on the very latest thinking in tree planting. It’s a super session and people are always amazed to learn how a bit of attention to proper root preparation and planting depths can prevent the quick death of their young trees. We always say don’t plant a £20 tree in a 20p hole so remember that correct planting methods are crucial if you want trees to enjoy for years to come. FIND OUT MORE

RHS Garden Wisley is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity. RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB. Visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley to find out more vantagepointmag.co.uk


South Downs Black Down Temple of the Winds walk Alfred Lord Tennyson fell in love with the Black Down Hills and would stride out through the heather, wrapped in his cloak. Follow in his footsteps and walk through the Black Down’s beautiful woodland and heathland. The walk goes to the Temple of the Winds, named after a Bronze Age circular bank. Here you can find one of the best views of the South Downs National Park. This little-known spot has a secret feel and a charming curved stone seat to rest on.

The walk 1. Follow the track up from the car park on Tennyson’s Lane and make your way through a gate onto Black Down. Following the track up, you will pass the National Trust (NT) donation box and notice board. In autumn, the steep banks on either side of the track are strewn with bilberries and blackberries. 2. At the fork bear right and after approximately 50m look on your right for views of open heathland to the south. Soon after, bear right once again. On your right you will see one of our many bog ponds. 3. Continuing along the track, you will once again be surrounded by Scots pine and rowan (mountain ash), which are staples of heathland fauna. Bear left at the next junction up a slight incline. The track then gently meanders left then right, where you will pass a bench and a mark stone remembering Tom Clark. It’s a great spot to stop and admire the view, surrounded by the heather. 4. Follow the track along and past another bench on your left beneath a wonderfully mature Scots pine. The path winds this way and that, and as it opens up to the right (south) you will see another bench, an excellent spot from which to gaze across Cotchett Valley. 40

5. Continue along the main track and up a slight incline and to the left, heading north, towards the most impressive viewpoint on Black Down: the wonderfully named Temple of the Winds. You will reach a three-pointed junction before long. Go due north for the temple and make your way between two straight and true Scot’s pines, following the track as it bears right. It’s a short walk further to reach the Temple of the Winds. 6. Having enjoyed the view, retrace your steps and bear right on the track just before you reach the straight and true Scot’s pines and follow it down onto the woodland track towards the beech hanger woodland. Depending on the time of year, as you approach the hanger, you will pass on your right one of the ponds, which comes and goes as it pleases. 7. You will know you are in the beech hanger, not just by the beech trees with their marvellously winding roots that sit on the earth like writhing dragons’ tails, but by the dramatic slope as it falls away to your right. Avoid the temptation to bear left up a slight incline and continue along the main track. Once out of the hanger, the track makes its way slightly to the left and you will soon find yourself once more looking upon open heathland. 8. Pass another pond on your left as the canopy opens up. Follow the track along and bear right, down the smaller of the two tracks, as you head for home. Journey down past the bilberries and blackberries once more and a short walk further you will spy the NT notice board, back at the start. vantagepointmag.co.uk


WALK

DISTANCE: 2 miles OS MAP: Explorer 133 GRID REF: SU9179231186 TERRAIN: Can be muddy underfoot in winter. Sandy heathland paths, some small ascents and descents Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome, livestock grazing throughout the year. No dog bins, so please take away all waste. GETTING THERE: Haslemere can be accessed via A286 and A287. Head out of Haslemere on B2131, turn right up Haste Hill, follow onto Tennysonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lane and head south-west until you come to the main free NT car park (GU27 3AF). Parking: Two free car parks on Tennysonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lane: Main car park (SU921309) 30 spaces; lower car park (SU923306) 10 spaces. Not suitable for coaches. Other free car parks in the area. This walk is taken from the National Trust by kind permission. Please visit www. nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.

February 2014

41


What the heck is a

Humanist?

D

uring the Farnham Humanist’s Garden Party, my son turned up. He’s a vocal critic of the Humanists, saying the effort spent on their causes would be better directed towards world poverty, the environment, Syrian refugees and the like. After the party he said “You know Dad, I’ve sat with each group of people and found they were all talking about something interesting. No small talk. No polite tittle-tattle, but ideas and issues. I can see why you like them.” Well I confess it’s true: what attracts me to Farnham Humanists is threefold: its people, the thought provoking events they hold and some of the work they perform. My son expected to be brow beaten by militant atheists, or irritated by secular fundamentalists. But no. Such attitudes come about through disinclination to listen to different viewpoints. Humanist groups are there for people who happen to be atheists or agnostics, want to meet like-minded people, feel there’s more to life than mundane materialism and want to do something about it. Humanists share a non-religious ethical outlook and seek to create a more open, just and caring society. We aren’t “evangelical” agnostics. The world suffers from too much sectarianism as it is. Humanists do, however, take issue with the misuse of religion, and many examples plague the twenty-first century meaning that it is well on the way to becoming as dreadful as the twentieth.

There’s a lot to Humanism, but here I’m only going to say that Humanists: • Look to evidence and science instead of religion as the best way to discover and understand the world. • Find meaning, beauty and joy in the one life we have, without the need to believe in the afterlife. • Believe people can use empathy and compassion to make the world a better place for everyone. • Think for themselves about what is morally right and wrong, based on reason and respect for others. In 2013 Farnham Humanists have held, via their monthly get togethers at the Hop Blossom pub, talks on women in Afghanistan, gay and civil partnerships, Judaism, equality and diversity in the Police Force, how children are sometimes at risk from abuse under the cloak of religious institutions and sects, Humanism in Uganda February 2014

PROFILE and the meaning of life. We also enjoyed purely social events such as a summer walk and a visit to the house of Charles Darwin. According to the 2011 census, 25% of the population (49% according to the 2013 British Social Attitude Surveys) are non-religious. Yet until 2006 the Surrey SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) had no non-religious representation. Each of England’s 142 Education Authorities tasks its own SACRE to provide an RE syllabus for its community schools and a small minority of its faith schools. However since 2006 the Surrey SACRE has allowed Farnham Humanists to provide a Humanist volunteer representative as a temporary co-opted member. In SACRE’s 2012 RE syllabus, Farnham Humanist’s module titled “How do non-religious people answer the Big Questions” was accepted as one of the options for 11 to 14 year olds. Farnham Humanists also provide speakers for student group debates. We also provide pastoral support. We provide a volunteer Humanist Chaplain at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. For Surrey Police we provide a “Listener” service to individual police officers. We have Humanist celebrants trained, accredited and monitored by the British Humanist Association, who conduct ceremonies to celebrate a marriage, civil partnership or to welcome a new baby into the world. They conduct non-religious funeral services. You can find out if you are already a Humanist by clicking on https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/are-you-a-humanist/. If you want to know more, please look us up on www.farnhamhumanists.org.uk, or come to one of our monthly Sunday meetings at 7.30pm at the Hop Blossom Pub, Long Garden Walk, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7HX, just off Castle Street. Alternatively join us on any first Wednesday of the month at our informal gathering at the Hop Blossom. We meet from 8pm and it’s an ideal opportunity to get to know each other, talk and enjoy a drink. Everyone is welcome. On Wednesday Feb 26 at 7pm at the Trinity Centre, 5 Trinity Churchyard, Guildford GU1 3RR, we are presenting a talk by Professor Jim Al-Khalili ‘Written in the Stars, how to live in a deterministic universe’. Cost in advance: £5 adults, £2 students. You can book tickets online at www.humanism.org.uk/ farnhamhumanists Our 2014 monthly Hop Blossom meetings kick off with Humanism in education on Sunday Feb 16 at 7.30pm. Other talks scheduled for this year include ‘Tax Havens and the Revolt against Democracy’, working with prisoners at HMP Winchester, the Secular Medical Forum and Women and Sharia Law . We are also providing free evening workshops in Guildford on March 20th and April 9th titled ‘Exploring Life - A Non-Religious View’. Come and test your views. Please ring 01483 233324 for more information.

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VantagePoint Magazine Feb 14 - Farnham & Villages  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

VantagePoint Magazine Feb 14 - Farnham & Villages  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

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