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VILLAGER The

Issue 106 - February 2018

and Town

Life

LOCAL NEWS • LOCAL PEOPLE • LOCAL SERVICES • LOCAL CHARITIES • LOCAL PRODUCTS

In this issue Win tickets to see

Phil Beer ‘String Theory’ Classic Films for

Valentine’s Day Win £25 in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People

20,000 copies delivered to Buckden, Brampton,

Godmanchester, The Hemingfords, Eaton Socon, Grantchester and all surrounding villages every month To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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Inside this issue... 40

The East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition A Cracker of an Australian Horse Breaker at St. Neots.......................4 Forgotten Foods...............................................................................6 Wordsearch......................................................................................8 Wine: Convenience Matters............................................................10 Wine tickets to see Phil Beer..........................................................12 Classic Films for Valentine’s............................................................14 Fostering for Adoption Scheme......................................................17 Safer Internet Day..........................................................................19 What to do if your sight or hearing worsen....................................20 Cambridgeshire Sands Group.........................................................23 Winter SOS.....................................................................................24 How to effortlessly wear ultra violet..............................................26 Insomnia and the Alexander Technique.........................................28 Why do divorce rates increase after Christmas?..............................31 Alternative ways to invest in property............................................32 Gadgets your beloved will love......................................................35 New Beginnings.............................................................................36 Alice in Wonderland.......................................................................37 Beijing Temple of Heaven...............................................................38

The East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition....................................40 The Joy of a Greenhouse.................................................................42 R.A.T.S. Re-homing Appeal............................................................45 Animal Heroes................................................................................47 Children’s Page...............................................................................48 Honda Civic Type R.........................................................................51 Nick Coffer’s Weekend Recipe.........................................................52 Chinese New Year...........................................................................54 Not your bog-standard kind of sport..............................................57 Real Bread Week............................................................................58 Puzzle Page....................................................................................60 What’s On.......................................................................................62 Don’t leave your clutter to the kids.................................................64 Making STEM Fun...........................................................................67 How to get a good night’s sleep.....................................................68 Fun Quiz.........................................................................................73 Prize Crossword..............................................................................74 National campaign to recruit new bell-ringers...............................76 Book Review..................................................................................78

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How to get a good night’s sleep

Get your business off to a flying start this year Advertise with the Villager Magazine... prices start from just £37.50 +VAT per month 20,000 copies delivered free of charge in the following areas: Hinchingbrooke, Hinchingbrooke Park, Brampton, Buckden, Offord Cluny, Offord D’arcy, Godmanchester, Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey, Cambourne, Chawston, Croxton, Duloe, Graveley, Great Paxton, Hail Weston, Honeydon, Little Barford, Little Paxton, Eaton Socon, Bourn, Grantchester, Roxton, Southoe, Staploe, Tempsford, Toseland, Upper Staploe, Wintringham, Wyboston, Yelling. (Further bulk drops are made to local shops and busineses in Huntingdon, St Neots, Eaton Ford, Eaton Socon and Eynesbury)

Editorial - Peter Ibbett, Catherine Rose, Trevor Langley, Sarah Davey, Ian McMullan, Kate Duggan, Jennie Billings, Centre for Complementary Health, Leeds Day Solicitors, Sally Power, Tony Larkins, Solange Hando, Rachael Leverton, RSPCA, James Baggott, Nick Coffer, Kate McLelland, Louise Addison and Alison Runham

Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email: nigel@villagermag.com www.villagermag.com

Advertising Sales/Local Editorial Nigel Frost • Tel 01767 261122 • nigel@villagermag.com

Disclaimer - All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Villager Publications Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

Photography - Strelok, Paul Bason Design and Artwork Design 9 • Tel 07762 969460 • www.design9marketing.co.uk

Advert Booking 8th February for our MARCH edition To advertise in The Villagerand andArtwork Town LifeDeadline: please callThursday 01767 261122

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History

A Cracker of an Australian Horse Breaker at St. Neots Buying a car through a digital comparison site allows you to home in on a good value vehicle but you still need to check it out to ensure it runs well. Those interested in buying a horse on St. Neots Market Square at the start of the 20th Century may have taken a chance on buying a raw colt and ‘breaking it in’. Today free advice can be had in plenty on the all-embracing internet but back in Victorian times it would have been by local word of mouth. Thus, when In May 1890 it was announced that Sidney Galvayne, ‘Professor of Modern Horsemanship’, the noted Australian horse trainer and tamer was to visit St Neots, local folk who had acquired a ‘dud’ at the market were hopeful of turning their loss into a gain. The St. Neots Advertiser was on hand to report on the event at some length under the heading HORSE TAMING AND TRAINING where the Aussie visitor:‘explained that his method consisted in educating the seeing, hearing and feeling senses, and then demonstrated with a two year old belonging to Miss Squire, of Basmead, which he had only had for a short time that morning, that in a few hours a raw colt could be taught to lead, guide and be mounted and ridden. On its re-appearance on the occasion in question it gave unmistakable signs of its vicious temper, and very much scared some of the spectators by making a dash for an opening in

the marquee, succeeding indeed in getting its fore legs over the ropes. But before he had finished with it, he proved its confidence in him and absence of fear by applying the severe test of cracking a heavy whip all over it, and letting off a bunch of crackers on its back – without its moving.’ Even well-trained horses were sensitive to sudden, unexpected noises, and this was a frequent cause of accidents, some of them serious or even fatal. In January 1865, for example, the postman, making his nightly walk from Waresley to St Neots blew his horn, according to custom, and this caused a horse and trap to bolt. In the ensuing crash the shafts were broken and the driver received severe internal injuries. Noise from trains was another cause of trouble. In November 1875 while the Cross Keys horse bus was at the station, and the driver was looking for some luggage, the horses panicked at a train whistle and bolted. They did not stop until just before the town bridge. The two passengers were considerably shaken but not seriously hurt. Acknowledgements to David Bushby for the horse-breaking details from the St. Neots History Society Newsletter from 2008. Do look up the details of the Society and its programme of monthly talks as one of your 2018 resolutions.

By Peter Ibbett

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History

Forgotten Foods In the era of supermarkets, ready meals and worldwide food imports, it is difficult to appreciate a time when people would not only have had to be thrifty with what they ate but creative too, cooking using the ingredients they had available. This month we look at some of the more unusual British dishes that were once common but have now disappeared from our everyday tables. There is no doubt that although many of our staples have remained, the dishes we eat daily have changed drastically over the centuries. Who would now enjoy a bowl of garum? Yet this fermented fish soup was a favourite of the Romans. We tend to think of the medieval era as being typified by banquets overflowing with roast meat and washed down with endless tankards of mead.

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In fact, there were many cookery books kept at this time and dishes were often surprisingly complex, served with a great deal of visual wit. Take for example the cockentryce. A capon, or castrated cockerel, was boiled, cut in half and sewn to the rump of a piglet. This was then stuffed and spit-roasted before being ‘gilded’ using egg yolk, saffron and (edible) gold leaf! The cockentryce was by no means unusual as rich and royal households loved nothing better than a chimera - combining the cooked meat of different animals and presenting the whole complete with head, tail and feet! Possibly the closest we get to this kind of combination today is our three-bird roast sometimes enjoyed at Christmas. In those days, if you were offered custarde, you couldn’t assume it was the stuff we regularly pour over our apple pie. Custarde was a type of 15th century quiche made with eggs, veal and prunes. Medieval foodies loved nothing better than to combine fruit with their meat dishes. For example, fish sausage made from a mixture of fish, currants, cloves, mace and salt, all squeezed into the traditional sausage skin of an animal intestine, was another favourite. Puddings were equally creative, and some had wonderfully poetic names like ‘a dish of snow’ which was a concoction of whipped egg whites and apple purée. A Tudor recipe from The Proper Newe Booke of Cookerye describes how to make ‘Egges in Moneshyne’ (eggs in moonlight) by poaching them in a syrup of rose water and sugar to resemble moons. Some of the dishes that were routinely served would probably not be considered very palatable today. For example, in the 1700s, cows’ udder was a norm, either roasted or boiled with spices and served cold in slices coated with sugar or ‘white bread crum’. In his famous diary, it

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is mentioned as being much enjoyed by Samuel Pepys. No native animal was spared in the days before intensive farming limited our regular choice to poultry, lamb, beef or pork. You would not go into a supermarket today and scour the meat counter for a cut of snake, but this was also a popular dish in the sixteenth century. Published in 1736, Richard Bradley’s The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director in the Management of a House and the Delights and Profits of a Farm (a title which is a mouthful in itself ) contains a recipe for boiled vipers which it states should have their heads cut off while still alive, the body cut into chunks and boiled along with their hearts. In rural areas, both badger and hedgehog were eaten. Considered a delicacy, Bradley’s cookery book has instructions on how to prepare cooked badger by cutting off its ‘gammons’ (hind legs), stripping them and then soaking them in brine for a week to ten days, after which they should be boiled for four or five hours and finally roasted. The hedgehog was a Romany favourite and would have been widely eaten in mid-Bedfordshire where there was once a thriving Romany gypsy population. The hedgehog would be caught, packed in clay and baked on the open fire. Once

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the clay had hardened it was broken away, which took the skin and spines with it, to uncover a meat said to look and taste like roast pork (hence the ‘hog’ perhaps). Beestings (or beastings) pudding was another rural dish that was certainly eaten in this area and one that, post pasteurisation, most people will never have heard of. A milk pudding, it was made at home from the rich colostrum of a cow that had recently given birth. The Victorians were adept at using every part of a slaughtered animal for food, from the brains to the hooves. Calves’ ears would be shaved, boiled and fried; offal made into various patés; and calves’ feet boiled to extract the natural gelatine, which was then used to make jelly and preserve foods in aspic. Bone marrow would not be wasted either and bones were stewed to make broth and gravy. We could probably learn a lot from the Victorians in managing our food wastage today. And although there are undoubtedly still many people who have a passion for creative cooking, perhaps generations of future centuries will look back on our love of Super Noodles and tinned baked beans with both horror and amusement.

By Catherine Rose

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Food and Drink

Wine:

Convenience Matters Convenience stores have to be - well, convenient. Spar has several thousand, spread over 40+ countries and was founded during 1932. Communities matter to Spar and, when planning these stores, considerations include location, opening times and stock, etc. Spar not only provides essential daily needs, such as food, including fresh fruit and vegetables, as I found out, but numerous items, required frequently, have a place in the stores, along with offers and other services, also. Whether an electrical socket extension lead, dog food or anti-bacterial cat litter, to plugs and devices for modern technology are required, Spar has stocks of many, many readily available supplies. The stores and Spar’s own-brand ranges have gained a good number of awards and constantly continue to do so. I searched for easy-drinking, fresh, smooth and elegant wines, of very good quality and value. Licensed Spar stores have something for all tastes and palates, having long-term, award-winning suppliers of wines. The single grape variety, ‘Letter Press’-labelled wines, I found to be excellent and very able to accompany numerous dishes of cuisine or to be enjoyed on their own, pleasing the wine lover that prefers a particular style and /or grape variety. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are always very popular. These pair with fish dishes, seafoods and white meats, wonderfully. Pinot Grigio is often chosen and is really great and satisfying. Tempranillo is a regular favourite and Pinot Noir, plus Merlot are other red wines, often selected. These are impressive accompaniments to red meats, etc. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Shiraz add fabulous, further choices, of reds. Medium and full-bodied, and selected on many occasions, these wines will not disappoint. Garnacha is a powerful red and has numerous connoisseurs and wine lovers choosing this, a lot. All have excellent fruit bouquets, plus splendid mouthfeels and palate sensations. If sparkling wines are a favourite, then Spar’s champagne and prosecco choices will most definitely satisfy, adding an extra ‘something’ to a dining occasion or event. These are just some of the wines available within the Spar ranges. I found it most worthwhile checking out my local Spar shop. You could be surprised, too.

As always, Enjoy!

ey Trevor Langl

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COMPETITION Win 2 tickets

to see Phil Beer ‘String Theory’ 2018 Tour The Junction in Cambridge on Thursday 15th February

PHIL BEER COMPETITION ENTRY Name:

2018 looks set to be a different, yet very special year for Phil as he announces his solo tour ‘String Theory’ in February and March. The tour will feature material old and new, and showcase his exceptional skill on all-things-stringed. With the return of ‘Folkboat’ this summer, there are limited chances to catch Phil in 2018, so grab your tickets while you can! When a musician’s CV drops names like Mike Oldfield, the Rolling Stones and Steve Harley, you know you’re dealing with a man at the top of his game. Phil Beer is one-half of the multi-award-winning acoustic folk and roots powerhouse Show of Hands, and he’s also in demand in his own right as a captivating solo performer. So, what does a man as talented as Phil Beer do when he’s not selling out the Royal Albert Hall with Show of Hands? He embarks on an eagerly awaited solo tour, visiting a string of carefully selected venues throughout the UK. He’ll be delivering his unique recipe of rich vocals and flawless musicianship across a range of stringed instruments (slide, Spanish and tenor guitar, mandocello, viola, mandolin and South American Cuatro). Alongside some Show of Hands classics, Phil will deliver his signature interpretation of much-loved folk and rock songs alongside a wealth of brand-new material, and there’ll be the odd laugh thrown in for good measure. Phil says, “2017 was such a busy year with the Albert Hall show, festivals and band tours. This year I’m looking forward to something a bit different. There’s something about a solo tour which makes me feel really connected with the audience. I’m also planning the release of a very special 8-disc boxset and am looking forward to sharing new material from that.” Following the tour, Phil will be focusing on ‘Folkboat’: a project which brilliantly combines his two greatest passions – music and sailing. Then in September he’ll return to the stage as Show of Hands prepare for a busy autumn. “A Phil Beer gig is one spent in the company of a true craftsman, a master musician and consummate performer” Spiral Earth. Simply send your entry by 12th February 2018 to: Phil Beer Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Winner will be drawn ramdomly.

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Time of Year

By Sarah Davey

Classic Films for Valentine’s You could go out for an expensive meal, or buy a bunch of overpriced red roses…or you could curl up with a glass of wine in front of a classic romantic film. There’s something for everyone, whether coupled-up or happily single. Annie Hall – This was probably the father of all romantic comedies. Alvy (Allen) is a cynical pessimist while Annie (Diane Keaton) is a ditsy, clumsy talented singer and photographer. If you’ve never seen it, don’t expect a neat ending (this is Woody Allen) but it showcases love in all its messy absurdness, and is sharp, funny and never cheesy. Ghost – This was 1990’s second highest grossing movie (Home Alone came out top). Patrick Swayze plays Sam, murdered in the opening scenes. His spirit tries to warn his grieving lover (Demi Moore) that her life too is in danger. To do this he enlists the help of a reluctant psychic played by Whoopie Goldberg. The result is by turns tender, funny, and bittersweet. You will never hear Unchained Melody again without shedding a tear. Pretty Woman – This is rather cheesy but has survived the test of time (mostly). It’s a Cinderella story really as Vivian (played by Julie Roberts), a prostitute with a heart of gold, is hired by a businessman (Richard Gere) as an escort and turns his life upside down. As Good as It Gets – No cheese here, just dry wit

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and snarky humour, delivered perfectly by Jack Nicholson playing Melvin Udall, a misanthropic author with OCD who falls for Carol (Helen Hunt), a waitress who can’t stand him. It’s a story of redemption. Moonstruck – If you like your romances complex then this is the film for you. Italian-American widow Loretta (played by Cher) accepts a marriage proposal from her doltish boyfriend, Johnny, but then finds herself falling for his younger brother, Ronny (Nick Cage). She resists, but Ronny blames his brother for the accident in which he lost his hand and has no scruples about pursuing her in Johnny’s absence. As Loretta falls further in love she learns that she’s not the only one in her family with a secret romance. Cher is a surprisingly good actor and the chemistry between the leads is great. The Wedding Singer – This engaging film is actually a parody of all things eighties. But the leads play their roles sincerely and that’s what makes this work. Robbie (Adam Sandler sporting a fabulous mullet) is a singer, while Julia (Drew Barrymore) is a waitress. They are both in relationships with the wrong people but fortune intervenes to help them discover each other. This is pure romantic cheese, but it’s top quality cheese so serve with only the best crackers.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Local News

Local family supported Fostering for Adoption scheme and have never looked back

Sarah and Neil felt Fostering for Adoption was right for them despite the uncertainties they faced. “We were aware the baby might be returned to their birth family and we knew we would be sad if this happened. But right from the start we felt really positive about Fostering for Adoption because we feel it is the right thing for the babies and children involved, as they do not have to move often. Paul was 36 hours old when we collected him from hospital. At this stage, we were his foster carers and attended regular contact visits with his birth parents. I would think to myself, ‘They’re his parents. I’m helping with the baby while they’re sorting themselves out’. We are pleased that we had the chance to meet his birth parents and see how much they loved him. As he grows up we can give her a much clearer picture of them because we met them ourselves. Paul is now six months old and we couldn’t be happier that he is a permanent member of our family.”

There was one moment, when Paul wasn’t sleeping and we were lying on the bed and I was pretending to sleep to try and get him off. He reached out and touched my face. And I thought, “Who are you kidding, you love this baby so much”. In some cases children are placed with families who can foster them while the court decides whether they can be returned to their birth families or whether they should be adopted. If they cannot return home they will then stay with their foster to adopt family which means that they will benefit from continuity of care. To find out more visit www.coramcambridgeshireadoption.org.uk or call us on 0300 123 1093. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

A chance to play again “Since adopting Amy and Jason our home has become a much more exciting place. There’s been a farm in the kitchen, a fairy castle in the living room and pirate ships have captured the bathroom! I wouldn’t change it for the world.” We find forever families for children who need permanent, loving homes. If you think you’ve got what it takes to adopt a child or siblings, we’d love to hear from you… Visit www.coramcambridgeshireadoption.org.uk or call 0300 123 1093 today.

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Time of Year

Safer Internet Day By Ian McMullan

Safer Internet Day is now celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology. The day helps to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore how we create a better and safer online community. This year’s slogan is Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you. Here are some steps we can all take to stay safe online: Create complex passwords - Create strong, unique passwords for all your critical accounts. Corporate hacks are commonplace now. One database breach can reveal tens of thousands of user passwords. If you reuse your passwords, a hacker can take the leaked data from one attack and use it to login to your other accounts. The best advice is to use a password manager to help you create and store strong passwords for all of your accounts. Boost your network security - Now that your logins are safer, make sure that your connections are secure. When you are at home or at work a password-protected router will encrypt your data. When you are out and about you might be tempted to use free, public Wi-Fi. But this is often unsecured, which means it’s relatively easy for a hacker to access your device or information. If you access the internet a lot when you are away from home it’s worth investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a piece of software that creates a secure connection over the internet, so you can safely connect from anywhere. Use a firewall - This is an electronic barrier that blocks unauthorized access to your computers and devices. It is often included with comprehensive security software. A firewall ensures that all of the devices connected to your network are secured, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart thermostats and webcams. This is important since many IoT devices aren’t equipped with their own security

measures, giving hackers a vulnerable point of entry to your entire network. Watch what you click - Many of today’s online threats are based on phishing or social engineering, when you are tricked into revealing personal or sensitive information for fraudulent purposes. Spam emails, phony “free” offers, online quizzes all use these tactics to entice you to click on dangerous links or give up your personal information. Share selectively - Be cautious about what you share, particularly when it comes to your identity information. Information could be used to impersonate you, or guess your passwords and logins. Think mobile! - Mobile devices face new risks: dangerous apps and fraudulent links sent by text message. Don’t respond to messages from strangers, and only download apps from official app stores after reading reviews first. Make sure that your security software is enabled on your mobile, just like your computers and other devices.

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Health

What to do if you notice your sight and hearing are getting worse

Thousands of people in the UK are living with combined sight and hearing loss. But how can you tell whether you or someone you know has sight and hearing loss and what you should do about it. Christine Hardy, Advocacy, Rights and Awareness Manager at Deafblind UK said: “Early signs of sight and hearing loss are not always as obvious as you think. Sometimes people may leave post unopened or become more hesitant to go out and about. You may also notice they adopt an unusual head position or even have burnt fingers from misuse of the oven or hot water. “It is vitally important to have regular eye tests to check for changes in your sight. These will also detect any eye conditions such as macular degeneration or glaucoma before you notice symptoms yourself. If you are over 60, eye tests are free on the NHS and there are services that can do an NHS sight tests in your own home. “Someone whose hearing is deteriorating may have difficulty following conversations or become uncomfortable in noisy situations like restaurants and shopping centres. They may struggle to hear women and children and think that other people are mumbling. “If you notice a drop in hearing, visit your GP who may refer you to an audiologist. If you need a hearing test, this will happen in a sound-proofed room where you will be asked to respond to different sounds. From this test the audiologist will determine whether hearing aids will be appropriate.” If you recognise any of these signs in people you know, there are lots of small things you can do to make a big difference to their lives; from adjusting room lighting to using 3D stickers around the house. For more details visit www.deafblind.org.uk or contact Deafblind UK on 01733 358100 or info@deafblind.org.uk.

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Local News

Cambridgeshire Sands Group opens to offer support to bereaved parents Bereaved parents in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas are inviting local people who have also been affected by the death of a baby, to attend a new Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) support group. Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death) groups support parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth and the next meeting will take place on Monday 5 February 2018 at 7.30pm at Tesco (in the community space which is adjacent to the tills), 15-18 Viking Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8EL. Regular bi-monthly meetings will take place on the first Monday of the month at the same venue. Bereaved parents from Cambridge, Huntingdon, St Ives, Chatteris, Royston, St Neots, Ely, March, Newmarket, Saffron Walden and Cambourne and the surrounding areas are more than welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat. The group would also like to recruit more befrienders so they can offer support meetings every month instead of bi-monthly. Befrienders provide support to anyone affected by the death of a baby over the phone and in person at group meetings. New befrienders must successfully complete Sands’ training, and a minimum of two years must have passed since their baby died. Sands’ groups are run on a voluntary basis by people who have themselves experienced the death of a baby. Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands, said: “We hope the new Cambridgeshire Sands group will help and support bereaved parents and their

families at a devastating time for them. Many bereaved parents tell us that other parents who have experienced the death of a baby are able to offer real understanding and empathy. “I would urge anyone in the local area who is bereaved to come along to a group meeting in the future. We are dedicated to providing emotional support and information right from the early hours after a baby’s death, through to the weeks, months and years ahead.” The group are linked locally with Addenbrookes (The Rosie) Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital as they arrange Sands’ Improving Bereavement Care training for staff, and provide resources and literature for bereaved parents. In recent months the hospitals have also hosted cake sales by volunteers from the group to raise funds. For further information call Rose Abrehart, East Network Coordinator at Sands, on 07707 480020 or email rose.abrehart@sands.org.uk The group can also be contacted via its Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/CambridgeshireSANDS-277404229352431 Follow Sands on Twitter at @SandsUK

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Health & Beauty

Winter S.O.S. Beauty goodies to see you through the cold spell.

If your skin is feeling dry and tight at the moment, a sheet mask could be just the ticket. Look for one with hyaluronic acid, which helps skin to hold on to moisture and fight the signs of ageing. The skin689 Bio-Cellulose Hyaluron Face Mask contains hyaluronic acid, along with coconut extract and an amino acid complex to nourish skin. As with all sheet masks, it’s a little fiddly to use, but feels lovely and refreshing when it’s on and the end results are definitely worth it. Softer, more hydrated skin, in just 20 minutes. And at £5.90, it’s an affordable weekend treat. See www.skin689.com An American skincare brand has released the world’s first vegan, plant-based topical collagen formula. Algenist’s serum is designed to replace lost collagen and contains Omega-rich microalgae oil. As with many things, there’s no long-term gain without short-term pain. In my case this meant that I had to contend with several large pimples breaking out in the first few days of using the serum. However, my skin soon got used to it, and did look plumper, smoother and much more refreshed after just a couple of weeks. All in all, I’m impressed. Genius Liquid Collagen is available from www.SpaceNK.com for £90. Central heating and icy winds don’t just wreak havoc on your skin - they can also leave your hair

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feeling dry and lacklustre. Faith in Nature’s Seaweed & Citrus Shampoo and Conditioner include natural extracts, such as wild harvested seaweed to ‘feed’ your hair with minerals and antioxidants. As with all Faith in Nature products, they’re free from parabens and harsh ingredients, so very gentle. Suitable for all hair types, they leave your locks feeling healthier, smoother and shinier. £5.35 each from www.faithinnature.co.uk Sore, cracked hands can be a real pain over the colder months. Unfortunately, some hand creams can actually make the situation worse, particularly if they contain artificial perfumes. Dermalex is a specialist skincare range aimed at sufferers of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. The Hand Irritation Cream can help with dry, cracked skin, itching and other signs of irritation. You’ll also want to look for a gentler hand wash or soap that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate, which can dry your skin and aggravate skin conditions. From £12.99, www.dermalex.co.uk It may be cold outside, but it won’t be long before it’s time to pack the winter woollies away for a few months. If you’ve been neglecting your nails under warm gloves, now’s the time to treat them to some TLC. Nails Inc Superfood NailKale Base Coat is enriched with kale, aloe vera, lemon, ginseng, pomegranate and grape extracts to nourish and strengthen your nails. Use it on its own for a glossy nude finish, or as a base coat for your favourite coloured polish. £15, www.nailsinc.com

By Kate Duggan www.kateduggan.co.uk

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House of Colour

How to Effortlessly Wear Ultra Violet The Colour of 2018

The Pantone Colour Institute announced their colour of 2018 is the gorgeous Ultra Violet - Pantone 18 – 3838 but can we all wear this very futuristic colour? Here are some tips on how to do it with style:1. The colour purple has been associated with wealth and royalty for centuries. There are a huge range of purples so everyone can find the right one for them. Autumns and Winters will look gorgeous in ultra violet, but summers and springs need to take care! Springs should try a warmer, lighter violet and summers will look their best in plum and amethyst. 2. A great way to wear violet or purple is with your nail colour or eye liner. The bruised look is not a good one so use a steady hand but brown eyes are always enhanced by

By Jennie Billings jennie.billings@houseofcolour.co.uk www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2018

3.

4.

5.

6.

violet liner. For most of us less is more when it comes to violet and purple make up. Violet or purple are amazing colours to create a statement. A pop of purple packs a punch so try a violet or purple bag paired with neutrals from your colour palette. For maximum style points, team your outfit with flats, heel or boots in a violet or purple from your season’s palette to give an exciting pop of colour to your outfit. Create a regal look with a scarf or necklace that combines violet or purple with some of the other accent colours from your colour palette to make you stand out from the crowd. Dare to wear violet in head to toe or in colour block dress. There are plenty of purple and violet coats in the shops right now and watch out for blouses, capri trousers and skirts making an appearance in THE colour of the year this spring or summer.

ACUPUNCTURE FOR WELL-BEING

Judy obtained her Licentiate in Acupuncture, and B.A (Hons) degree in Traditional Acupuncture, from the College of Traditional Acupuncture, Warwickshire. Judy is a passionate believer in the positive benefits, on both physical and emotional levels, that may be obtained from receiving acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine. Judy has been trained as a classical Five Element Acupuncturist; treatment is aimed at the root cause of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feelings of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves. Judy continues to pursue her belief in excellence of care for her patients in her role as a dedicated acupuncture practitioner, and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council. Please contact Judy for a free 20 minute consultation to discuss how acupuncture treatment can help you.

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Jill Dighton BSc (Hons) MBACP (Accred)., UKCP Reg.

Counselling Service Depressed? Anxious? Relationship Issues? Low Self Esteem? Have you considered Counselling sessions? Based in Grafham village, I offer a professionally qualified Counselling Service to individuals and couples in a secure, confidential & non-judgemental atmosphere. Ample parking. Concessionary rates available. For further details: Visit: www.jilldightoncounselling.co.uk Email: j.dighton@hotmail.co.uk Tel: 07925 852 985 (Voicemail available)

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Complementary Health

Insomnia and the Alexander Technique

Everyone needs good sleep for a range of reasons so, this month Roy Palmer, Alexander Technique Teacher at the Centre shares his insight into how it can be helped. In the absence of a specific medical condition that can cause insomnia, falling asleep requires four things to make it easier: 1. A quiet, dark room 2. A warm, comfortable bed 3. A body free of aches and pains 4. A mind free of distractions If all four are present, falling asleep is just a matter of letting the sleep hormone, melatonin, do its job and we drift off. The important part is that we ‘let’ it happen. I’m sure we all experienced difficulties as children when we tried to get to sleep on Christmas Eve. Our minds full of anticipation for the day to come, plus maybe a little anxiety that if we couldn’t sleep Father Christmas wouldn’t come, made it quite a challenge. I think we all learned a valuable lesson that by shutting our eyes tighter and ‘trying’ to get to sleep just didn’t work. Even without a warm bed or quiet room, if we’re tired enough we overcome an aching body and fall asleep almost anywhere. However, without a mind free of distractions it is very difficult even if all other three conditions are present. Anxiety and stress are amongst the most common causes of insomnia. If our mind is filled with negative thoughts, a dark room and lack of other stimuli will intensify those thoughts preventing the natural process.

So, what can you do to aid the process? From a physical point of view, simple things like checking your pillow is the right height to keep you spine in alignment and your neck is supported can help reduce tension. Lessons in The Alexander Technique can help to drastically reduce muscular aches and pains through better, coordinated movement and improved posture. You soon come to appreciate how alignment and poise means less wear and tear on your body. Tensions you carry around all day, don’t suddenly disappear once you get into bed, and often persist when asleep. If you can remove habitual tension during the day, you don’t take it into your bed. As for number (4) on our list, The Alexander Technique is an excellent way to learn how to ‘let go’ and get ‘into the moment’. The techniques used can help to promote mindfulness in all daily activities and remember, if you take to bed what you do during the day, you’ll be in a better state to sleep at night if you’ve had a day with less stress and tension. Lastly, you should not become anxious about not being able to sleep as this obviously makes things worse. Learn to be detached and indifferent to your sleep patterns and this will ultimately allow your body to do the natural thing.

If you would like any information on anything mentioned above give us a call on 01480 455221 or see www.CentreForCompHealth.com for more details.

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Burwash Manor, New Road, Barton, Cambridge, CB23 7EY e. info@burwashdragonfly.com • www.burwashdragonfly.com Beauty SpaVillager Advert AUGUST14 131x94mm.indd 1 01767 261122 To Dragonfly advertise in The and Town Life please call

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Leeds Day Solicitors

Why is it that Divorce rates increase after the Christmas break? Historically, statistics show there is a seasonal pattern to divorce cases in that they tend to spike shortly after all holiday periods, particularly at Christmas. What should be happy periods of togetherness, in fact, can cause marital isolation. There may be a number of reasons for this including; • The stress of the Christmas and New Year period often puts marriages under strain when family members are together in enforced circumstances and sometimes holidays fail to live up to expectations which itself causes tensions; • People often evaluate their life decisions under the concentrated focus of the Christmas/New Year period. With people thrown together for weeks on end the start of a new year is often seen as a new beginning with many looking to make a fresh start. In fact, the statistics suggest there is a delay following the onset of the New Year before any court action is taken, the biggest rise being in March, possibly due to many people deferring action immediately due to the financial strain Christmas can cause. Those contemplating divorce or separation should always recognise the full consequences that flow from such a decision. Usually there will be no going back. Emotional ties risk being

Our offices: Huntingdon Godwin House, George Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3BD T: 01480 454301

irreparably harmed, even if parties merely discuss divorce. Arrangements for the children will need to be considered. The parties’ finances will undoubtedly be affected, perhaps adversely, for years to come. It is therefore important anyone thinking of ending a relationship considers matters cautiously and with due diligence rather than spontaneously. Whether married parties divorce or unmarried parties separate, the key is to make informed decisions, following sound legal advice, so as to lessen or even avoid what might otherwise become a time of high emotional turmoil. We at Leeds Day offer a comprehensive family law service and to find out more contact the family team at Leeds Day on 0844 5672222 or send an email to family@leedsday.co.uk. Simon Thomas, Lisa Leader and Lee Bailham are all highly experienced divorce and family solicitors practising exclusively in family law. The team includes Resolution Accredited family law specialists and Simon Thomas also specialises in collaborative family law. We are able to see clients at any of the three offices in St Ives, Huntingdon and St Neots. Our team is able to offer a full range of dispute resolution options, all of which can be found on our website at www.leedsday.co.uk. Quote this article when making an appointment.

St. Ives 11 Station Road, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5BH T: 01480 464600

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St. Neots Xenus House, Sandpiper Court, Eaton Socon, St. Neots PE19 8EP T: 01480 474661 31


Finance

Alternative Ways to Invest In Property Although property remains a popular long-term investment, lending restrictions make it difficult for first-time buyers to secure a foothold on the property ladder. Furthermore, the introduction of a buy-tolet stamp duty surcharge, and reduction of mortgage interest tax relief, have made buy-to-let less lucrative. So are there any other options that could be suitable if you’re interested in property investing? Here are a few alternatives that might appeal, but as with any other form of investment, it’s crucial to carry out plenty of research. Property crowdfunding involves investing in property itself, as opposed to peer-to-peer lending where you invest in the mortgages provided to buy-to-let landlords and property developers. So how do these systems work? Property equity crowdfunding Each property is held within its own limited company - you purchase a share of the company and own a small part of the property along with fellow investors. After registering on a property crowdfunding website, you can search for properties of interest and then make the investment online. • You receive a return on your investment via rental payments and also, potentially, capital gains. • You can spread your investment across a number of different properties. • Fees include a fundraising/finder’s fee, along with property management fees. • A share of the profits is also deducted by the crowdfunding platform at the end of each investment term. Peer-to-peer lending Rather than investing in the property itself, you and other investors provide the money for loans and mortgages that buy-to-let landlords and property developers use. • Return on investment comes from interest paid on the loan. • Platforms provide details of any payment defaults by borrowers, so you can make a more

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informed decision on whether to lend. • Investments may be made over a shorter term than property crowdfunding, which is important if you don’t want to tie up your money for too long. Direct commercial property funds You can invest in commercial property via unit trusts or open-ended investment companies (OEICs), but you should seek professional advice on the best investments for your particular circumstances. Your money is combined with that of other investors and fund managers decide on the best investments. These could be solely in the UK or internationally, depending on the property fund you’ve chosen, and may be in retail, office or industrial property. • You’ll pay a fee for the fund to be managed. • Capital gains tax and tax on dividends received will need to be taken into account. • You may be able to hold a property fund within a stocks and shares ISA. • You can either pay a monthly amount or a oneoff investment sum. The concept of small investments spread over a diverse property or loan portfolio runs through these options, but what if you do want to purchase an entire property rather than use these ‘hands-off’ alternatives? Furnished holiday lets Buying a property as a furnished holiday let avoids some of the drawbacks of buy-to-let investment. It offers specific tax advantages and can bring a higher overall return than buy-to-let. Holiday let mortgage providers generally require a deposit of 25%-40%. The amount they’ll lend depends on the existing rental income, or the income as estimated by an experienced local holiday letting agent. Furnished holiday lets haven’t been affected by the clampdown on tax relief faced by buy-to-let investors. Although they require more work in terms of regular marketing, they’ve become a popular way to earn money from property.

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UNIT FOR RENT COMMERCIAL/STORAGE 24 FEET WIDE 70 FEET LONG 15 FEET’ EVES SWANSLEY WOOD CAXTON GIBBET CAMBS CB23 3PH

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Extensions & newbuilds Design & Planning Approvals Building Regulations Project Management Professional service Fully insured as featured in Channel 4’s The Best Laid Plans

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09/01/2018 15:32

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Technology

Gadgets your beloved will love

How to choose gifts that’ll last much longer than flowers. It’s that time of year again: mountains of chocolate and teddy bears in every shop, toobusy restaurants churning out tenuously-themed Valentines meals, awful romantic comedies at the cinema, supermarkets full of really horrible cards and garages licking their lips in anticipation of panicking guys who forgot to place an Interflora order. Why not show your love for your partner by giving them the gift of gadgets instead? Let’s start with the basics: pinkified, prettified versions of ordinary things such as MP3 players or power tools are a no-no unless your partner genuinely loves pink products, and you should steer well clear of anything that could be misinterpreted no matter how clever it may be. Leave the fitness watch (subtext: you’re fat!), the Wi-Fi scales (you’re fat!) and the cordless vacuum cleaner (I don’t think of you in a sexy way any more!) for another day. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get something practical. Quite the opposite: a thoughtful, well chosen present is much better than something useless with a love heart and

a teddy bear on it. Think noise cancelling headphones for their travels (£159 for a set of BOSE QuietComfort 2, or £59.95 for in-ear ones that won’t give them headphone hair; other manufacturers such as Sony can be even cheaper) or a nicer case for their laptop. Barbour does a particularly luxurious leather one for £249, but there are plenty of options in all kinds of fabrics ranging from the fashionable to the fully functional. Watch out for fake leather, though: “bonded leather” is synthetic leather, aka pleather. If you’re struggling for ideas it’s always worth looking at their existing gadgets to see if they’re worth upgrading or replacing. An old Kindle is a great device, but the newest versions have much sharper screens and much better backlighting. The midrange Paperwhite is currently £109.99, rising to £229 for the top-end Oasis, but Amazon discounts Kindles regularly so it pays to plan ahead and try to nab an early bargain. Just be careful if you’re browsing eBay or other sites for used devices: older Paperwhite models don’t have the same hi-res screen as the 2017 model, so read the specifications carefully. If

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the gadget itself is still current then accessories can be worth considering: for example NotOnTheHighStreet does some lovely leather Kindle cases for around £23, and iPad cases from as little as £13 to £360 for a personalised leather case that comes with power bank, travel adaptor and a Moleskin notebook. If you think that’s expensive, the RRP is even higher: £450. Once again there’s a huge range of products from various manufacturers at all kinds of prices. Of course, there’s another kind of gadget for the one you love: what used to be described euphemistically as “marital aids”. The Amazon of that market is Britain’s LoveHoney.co.uk, which takes a cheerful and down-toearth approach to a potentially embarrassing subject and provides straightforward advice and reviews from real people. We’re no prudes but we’d offer some well-intentioned advice: don’t order anything if you’re not sure your partner would appreciate the sentiment let alone the product, and maybe leave the most expensive and faintly frightening products for when you’re window shopping together.

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Travel

By Solange Hando

Beijing Temple of Heaven All glistening blue and gold, the magnificent Temple of Heaven rises, almost defiantly, in modern Beijing, no longer a place of worship but still recalling the religious faith of the great emperors. It was built in the early 15th century by Emperor Yongle, at the same time as the Forbidden City but much larger to befit a celestial abode. Come the winter solstice, the Emperor, or ‘Son of Heaven’, would venture out of his secluded palace and make his way to the temple in a most splendid procession no commoner was allowed to watch. There he prayed for guidance and good harvests, worshipping Heaven in an ancient tradition which continued to blossom for many more centuries. The complex was extended and protected by inner and outer walls. Step through one of the gates marking the compass points and in the cool oasis of ‘Tiantan’, you are greeted by Chinese gardens, pine woods and over 90 buildings sprinkled like magic among white marble steps and balustrades. Yet nothing here is left to chance as symbolism flows everywhere, from the use of numbers - 9 representing the Emperor, to the choice of shapes - circular for heaven, square for the earth, or colours - yellow for the Emperor, blue for the sky. The three main groups are on a north-south axis, starting at the very top with the Temple of Prayer for Good Harvests.

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Topped by a triple-eaved umbrella roof, this is a lovely circular structure, made of wood without nails. It was destroyed by lightning in 1889 but rebuilt in the original Ming style. According to Feng Shui experts, it stands on the spot where Heaven meets Earth. Just east of the hall, the Seven Stars recall the Taishan peaks, also dedicated to Heaven worship. From this norther point, a Sacred Way leads to the second group, the Imperial Vault of Heaven where imperial ancestors were invoked during the winter solstice. The surrounding Echo Wall carried prayers from end to end and even today the slightest whisper will travel around and amaze visitors. To the south, you reach the awesome Circular Mound Altar, a five-metre high marble structure which makes full use of the imperial number, with 81 (9x9) stones on the 9th ring. Balustrades were designed to amplify the sound from the upper terrace, while in the centre the ‘Heart of Heaven’ is a round slate where animals were offered in sacrifice. After the ceremony, the Emperor would retire to the Palace of Abstinence and fast to complete his mediation between Heaven and Earth. His life depended on it. Only bountiful harvests would ensure continued respect from the Court and common people.

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C

COPLEYS Solicitors

Excellence through Experience www.copleys.net

BUYING & SELLING A BUSINESS BUYING & SELLING YOUR HOME COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DIVORCE AND FAMILY EMPLOYMENT LANDLORD AND TENANT WILLS, TRUST & ESTATES PLANNING Call our approachable team to discuss your issue. Our offices are located in the centre of Huntingdon and St. Ives to make your visit as easy as possible.

HUNTINGDON OFFICE: 28 High Street • Huntingdon • Cambs PE29 3TH t: 01480 456191 email: huntingdon@copleys.net ST. IVES OFFICE: Red House • 10 Market Hill • St Ives • Cambs PE27 5AW t: 01480 464515 email: stives@copleys.net To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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The East Anglian

Model Railway Exhibition The East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition, on March 10th and 11th, will again bring together many of the very best model railway layouts from around the country. The Summit (Draper’s Sidings) by Yeovil Model Railway Group is pictured on our advert opposite. With a footprint of 47 by 27 feet, you will not be able to miss this layout at our exhibition. The Summit is 7mm / O gauge on a grand scale and was voted Railway Modeller’s Railway of the Year in 2016. The layout is loosely based on the summit of the Settle and Carlisle Railway at Ais Gill. The track layout, with the lay-by sidings, is close to what once existed here. The viaduct is based on the one at Ais Gill but the fell side has been brought closer to the railway for more immediate effect. In total there are 32 layouts for you to see in all of the popular gauges including some continental and, many have not been seen in this part of the country before. In contrast to The Summit, The Sidings by Nick Gurney in 4mm / OO gauge provides a modern scene in a small space, measuring just over 6 feet in length and 1 foot wide with a scenic section of only four feet. Nick has tried to incorporate several features from the modern railway including a GSM-R phone mast with cabin and trackside relay cabinets some modelled with the doors open and the associated cable trunking. The layout is inspired by York parcel sidings, where predominantly DRS locos are stabled although other operators’ locos can be seen from time to time.

The Sidings

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Fenchurch St Peter (Photograph by Paul Bason) Creating a local scene, Fenchurch St Peter by George Woodcock, John Norton and Richard Coleman, is also 4mm / OO gauge and it represents a small remote station situated in the East Anglian Fens in the area between March, Wisbech and Spalding. For our younger visitors there is a children’s layout, Shabbey Road, so that they can ‘drive a train’ and we have rides inside on a 71/4 inch gauge electric train and outside on a 4 inch scale traction engine. We have 28 traders who will be selling all the much needed items required for making the hobby come to life, and this year, we also have four demonstrators showing you various modelling techniques. On Saturday 10th March, Cllr Sarah Conboy, The Mayor of Godmanchester, will present a shield for what she considers to be the best layout and, throughout the weekend, you will get a vote too. Best Layout as selected by the public will be presented with another shield on Sunday afternoon. If you need a ride from Huntingdon Railway station to or from the Britten Arena at Wood Green Animal Charity Centre, Godmanchester, PE29 2NH then please use the free vintage bus service. Wood Green Animal Charity Centre offers ample free car parking, excellent food and other facilities to enjoy whilst you are there. The East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition is organised by St Neots Model Railway Club who meet at Buckden Millennium Centre every Wednesday evening from 7pm - 10pm. If you have an interest in model railways or would like to know more about the exhibition visit www.stneotsmrc.com or find East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition on Facebook. Any queries, contact Exhibition Manager, Jackie Kneeshaw 01480 454927

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41


Garden View

The Joy of a

Greenhouse By Rachael Leverton I am an impatient gardener. By February I am always eager to get started and my greenhouse means that I can do just that. A greenhouse means that I don’t fear the weather, I can potter in my garden all year round and I can grow a range of plants that would not survive without protection. Most gardens have room for at least a tiny greenhouse and its well worth trying to incorporate one into your space. Before choosing a greenhouse, check whether your local planning authority places any restrictions in terms of size or position. Usually there are no problems. Ideally a greenhouse should be placed in a bright spot because poor light and heavy shade will mean sickly spindly plants. Buy as big a greenhouse as you can accommodate because I guarantee that no matter how big it seems at first you will fill it. You can make a greenhouse from poles and polythene but it won’t last more than a couple of years and won’t be pretty to look at. Fully glazed aluminium greenhouses are good value, and if you like wood then go for western red cedar, which ages well and lasts a long time. It’s important to have level foundations You don’t have to heat a greenhouse but I like

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to because it lets me get an early start in spring, and keeps my tender pot plants alive through the winter. When I had an unheated greenhouse my frost-tender plants rarely survived. I prefer electric heating, which doesn’t smell and doesn’t produce the excessive amounts of water vapour associated with paraffin. Make sure you use a qualified electrician and that all the sockets are rated for outdoor use. Fit a thermostat and the heat will only come on when necessary, making it very economical. At the other end of the year make sure you have ventilation, or your plants will cook. If you can afford it go for the automatic arms which open ventilators if the greenhouse reaches a certain temperature. Also consider blinds to help prevent sun-scorch. I arrange my greenhouse with staging on one side and a soil bed on the other for my tomatoes to grow in, and I’ve attached some guttering and a downpipe to a water butt so I can collect rainwater. It’s my little haven in February; where I plant seeds and imagine what my garden will look like in a three months’ time.

Happy Gardening

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All Seasons

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SURECLEAN

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Local News

Rehoming Appeal This month’s rescue animal looking for their forever home is Annie

Annie has come into us as her owner is in hospital long term and can no longer care for her. She is 5 years old and a very friendly girl who loves to be fussed and she is very playful. She is a very bright and lively cat and is longing for a new home where she can get lots of attention. Annie will make a lovely family pet and companion. If you would like to find out more about Annie, please contact Liz on 01767 681157. Alternatively, please email Philippa at info.rats@gmail.com who will be pleased to forward your enquiry onto the team. View other small mammals, dogs and cats currently in our care for re-homing on our website: T&G131x93AdvertReady.pdf 07/06/2015 13:34:43 www.rats-animalrescue.co.uk or facebook : www.facebook.com/ratscharity

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Can I go to the Paddocks for my Holiday please?

Paddocks Boarding Cattery Peaceful location. No dogs boarded. Spacious, individual, heated chalets with large covered runs. Inspection welcome. Boarding from ÂŁ7.30/day. Rabbits/guinea pigs also boarded. 64 Meadow Road, Great Gransden

Telephone 01767 677 759 www.catterybedfordshire.co.uk Open all year.

The cattery for caring owners. Comfort and security for your pet. 46

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Animal Heroes

Pets

New Year, New You?

Last year, across the country, 129,602 animals were rescued and collected by the RSPCA. The cost of doing this was primarily provided by people like you. Our work relies on an army of wonderful volunteers and supporters. So, if you’re looking for a new focus in 2018, why not get involved? There are many ways you can help, but here are a few simple fundraising ideas to get you started: My Big Walkies – could you walk 10,000 steps a day for a whole month? Join us in October and you can even get your dog involved! You can walk at your own pace, in your own time, and we’ll help you with your fundraising. Run – apply for one of our charity places to run high profile events like the Brighton, Yorkshire or London Marathons – or you can register to run for us at your own pace at a run of your choice! Great Big Picnic – why not host an RSPCA Great Big Picnic and invite your friends and family round to enjoy the weather and have some fun? Cake sale – the key to a great bake sale is to recruit your bakers early and ask them to bring variety to the table. You could even raise the stakes by selecting a winner at the end, Great British Bake Off style! Give something up – we’ve all got that habit or thing that we “couldn’t live without”, so why not put it to the test? Instead of spending the money you normally would on chocolate, coffee or whatever your “thing” is – you could donate it instead – and get people to sponsor you. Or, give something away and donate to our charity shop in Bedford? Raffle – simply charge a fee for tickets and the winners get a prize. You could use unwanted presents as raffle prizes or ask your friends and local businesses if they’re willing to give you prizes. Auction – if you have a collection of interesting

items that you’re willing to let go of, an auction could be perfect. However, if you couldn’t possibly part with your most treasured possessions you could hold a promise auction, where you can auction off your time or skills. Charity game – organise a charity game of your sport of choice such as football, Minecraft or even a Monopoly tournament. Invite friends and family to take part and ask them for a donation per entry. Quiz night – all you need is a suitable venue and then ask your guests to pay to play. Look online for example questions, or if you’re feeling creative you could write your own quiz. Sponsored event – there are countless things that you could do and get sponsored. You could go down the extreme route and ask for sponsorship for things like skydiving. Or you could go down the slightly safer route – like a sponsored silence. The possibilities are endless! Fundraising does wonders for rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year. By raising money for us, you’ll join animal lovers from across the nation, determined to stop animal cruelty and neglect. Together, our voice will be stronger and more powerful than ever. This is your chance to feel great, get fit, have fun and be creative. Why not be an animal Hero this year? More information, and fundraising packs, can be found on rspca.org.uk Call 01234 266965 or email donate@ rspcabedsnorth.org.uk with any enquiries.

ANIMAL HEROES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch www.rspca-bedfordshirenorth.org.uk

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Motoring

Honda Civic Type R In the look-at-me stakes, Honda’s new Civic Type R screams attentionseeker with its trying-too-hard fins, wings and ice-white paintwork. Honda appears to have added needless frippery to its new Type R, though they’ll tell you it’s about aerodynamics and downforce – but does that really matter on the A34? Inside, it’s much more traditional Honda formula. It’s a combination of harder plastics, an infotainment system that isn’t up to the standards of rivals and a seating position you’ll either love or hate. However, this is a machine that’s utterly fabulous on the road. Fast, grippy and with a gearbox that delights, it’s a hot hatch to take the fight to the very best in its class. The large, winged bucket seats are comfortable, and the driving position suits us. When started, the cackle from the exhaust sounds exactly how every hot hatch should. Moving off on smooth asphalt, the Type R feels well set up. The ride is firm but a small amount of jostling is part and parcel of a hot hatch – particularly a fast Honda. Though the Civic Type R feels quick, the real surprise is just how much speed you can carry through corners. The body is 38 per cent stiffer than the car it replaces, and this added rigidity makes itself known almost everywhere.

The turn-in is quick, but the limitedslip differential means that you can fire the R into bends and it’ll just grip. The experience is helped by the car’s seating position, which is now 50mm lower than the older model and completely transforms the entire drive. There’s next to no body roll, and the front two wheels cope admirably with the 316bhp being sent through them. You won’t torque steer either – the steering stays unaffected even when accelerating hard, and this gives you a huge amount of confidence. Arguably, the test location played into the hands of the Type R – the green, rolling hills and mountains of south Wales coupled with tight, technical roads contributed heavily to the hot hatch experience. It’s a match made in driving heaven. However, the Type R has always been slightly tarred by that ‘boy racer’ brush. But this car has real character, something lacking in quite a few others on sale today. Even the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine has its own personality, popping and growling as you push it through the bends. In the rain, the R got better. Despite some scrabble from the front tyres on soaked tarmac, the Civic continues to impress. Everything about it feels alive,

particularly along the wide open sections of the A4059 north of Penderyn. The short, notchy sixspeed manual is a joy to use, while the characterful engine provides more than enough shove to keep things interesting. Put simply, it’s a far more involving car to drive than you’d expect. On these roads, the Type R seems perfect. Yes, the interior foibles could make it a difficult one to live with day-to-day and you’ll have to get used to the strange looks from passers-by, but on Welsh A-roads when the sun is (occasionally) shining, there are few cars quite like it. The Knowledge Model: Honda Civic Type R Model as tested: Honda Civic Type R GT Base price: £32,995 Price as tested: £33,520 Engine tested: 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol Power (bhp): 316bhp Torque (Nm): 400 Max speed (mph): 169 0-60mph: 5.5 MPG: 36.7 Emissions (g/km): 176

By James Baggott

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Three Counties Radio

Beef Gulasz

with Cracked Barley Groats, Sour Cream and Dill We are lucky in the Three Counties to have a wonderful variety of food available and I love featuring different cuisines on the Weekend Kitchen. Back in 2010, I welcomed Ren Behan from St Albans on to the show. She had given up a career as a lawyer and was looking to build a new career as a food stylist and writer. I strongly encouraged her to write a book on Polish food and, 7 years later, she fulfilled her dream and her book was published. Ren is passionate about her Polish roots and is keen to show that Polish food is imaginative, vibrant and delicious. This gorgeous and simple recipe comes from her book, Wild Honey and Rye, and is a perfect winter warmer.

1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat until golden and soft. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for 5 minutes. 2. In a large bowl, coat the beef in the flour, season well with salt and pepper. Add a drop more oil to the pan with the onions, turn up the heat and brown the meat all over. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato puree, stir and then pour in the beef stock, add the bay leaf and stir again. 3. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 1 ½- 2 hours over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Or, transfer to a slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours. 4. Cook the barley or buckwheat according to the instructions on the packet. Serve the barley with the beef gulasz, drizzle over the sour cream and garnish with fresh dill. Ingredients 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 onions, peeled, chopped 1 stick celery, washed, chopped 2 carrots, peeled, chopped 2 tbsp plain flour 500g beef braising steak or feather steak, cubed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 250g mixed or chestnut mushrooms 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped 2 tbsp tomato puree 500ml beef stock, made up 1 bay leaf To serve: 200g crushed barley groats/pearl barley or buckwheat cooked according to the packed instructions (Kasza Jęczmienna). Fresh dill and Sour cream

Hear wonderful recipes on Nick Coffer’s Weekend Kitchen every Sunday morning on BBC Three Counties radio at 11am. You can also join Nick every weekday afternoon at midday for brilliant local guests with great stories to tell and all the music you want for your early afternoon.

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Time of Year

Chinese New Year 16th February

By Sarah Davey 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog. Dog is the symbol of loyalty and honesty. People born in the Year of the Dog are said to be honest, friendly, faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward, and have a strong sense of responsibility. There are twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. Here is the folk tale behind them. Long ago in China the Emperor decided to invent a way to measure time. On his birthday he gathered all the animals by a great river and told them that there would be a swimming race. The first twelve animals to cross the fast-flowing river would be declared the winners and each would be named one of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The animals lined up along the river bank. The rat and the cat were best friends and they were worried because they were poor swimmers. So they asked the ox if he would carry them across and the kind ox agreed. He told the cat and the rat to climb on to his back then carried them across the river. They were excited to see that he was leading the race. But before he reached the bank the rat pushed the cat into the water so he could jump on to the ox’s head and leap to the bank claiming first place.

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The Emperor did not see the rat’s dirty trick so named him the first sign of the zodiac. The poor ox was tricked into second place. The tiger wasn’t a natural swimmer but fought the current all the way across the river to arrive third. The emperor was so impressed he named the tiger the third sign. The rabbit knew he couldn’t beat the river so hopped across on some stepping stones, then jumped on to a log which carried him downstream until he was close enough to jump ashore. ‘Bravo!’ shouted the emperor, ‘I shall call the fourth sign after you.’ Then a dragon swooped down to the shore. ‘Why didn’t you win the race when you can fly?’ asked the emperor. ‘First I needed to make some rain because the people needed water for their crops. Then I saw a little rabbit sitting on a log in the river so I blew him to shore.’ ‘That is kind,’ said the emperor. ‘You are a worthy winner of the fifth sign.’ He heard the sound of horse hooves. ‘Ah the sixth sign,’ said the emperor, but then a snake, which had wrapped itself around one of the horse’s legs wriggled out ahead and the horse jumped back. So the snake was named the sixth sign and the horse had to be satisfied with seventh. Then a raft arrived at the bank and a goat, a monkey and rooster climbed ashore. They explained how the rooster had found the raft, the monkey and goat had helped clear the weeds and then the goat and monkey had pushed the raft to shore. The emperor was very pleased at their co-operation and named the goat the eighth, the monkey the ninth, and the rooster the tenth sign of the zodiac. The dog arrived in eleventh place in spite of being one of the strongest swimmers. He said he had paused to take a bath because the river was so clean. The last animal to arrive was the boar. He had stopped for a snack then fell asleep. ‘You have still done well,’ said the emperor, ‘The final sign of the zodiac will be named after you. But do you remember the poor cat? By the time he had managed to climb ashore, soaked and shivering he had missed his chance of being a winner. This made him very angry and is the reason why cats have hated rats and try to kill them ever since!

Happy Chinese New Year

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Pertenhall Road, Great Staughton, PE19 5BE TEL: 01480 860000 Open Mon-Fri 8.30am – 4.30pm | Sat 10am – 4pm Season’s Garden Centre, Wilstead, Bedford MK45 3HU TEL: 01234 740011 Open Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm | Sun 11am – 4pm To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122 GSN HP advert.indd 1

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www.cromwellstoves.co.uk 56

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Quirky Britain

Not your bog-standard kind of sport Fancy navigating your way along a cold, muddy bog, wearing a snorkel and flippers? If your answer is an emphatic “No!” you may be surprised to hear that there are hundreds of people – not just in Britain, but across the globe – who would be happy to take your place. Bog snorkelling is a slippery, slimy sport popular in the UK, Australia, Ireland and Sweden, and in 2014 the travel publication Lonely Planet included it in a list of the world’s top fifty ‘must do’ activities. Competitors are required to travel two consecutive lengths along a 60 yard (55 metre) trench cut into a peat bog, completing the journey in the shortest possible time. Conventional swimming strokes are not allowed and competitors must rely on flipper power to propel themselves forward. Dressing for the bog Donning goggles, a snorkel and flippers is compulsory, but there are no rules when it comes to the clothes competitors wear. This has resulted in some wonderfully eclectic costumes, with snorkellers appearing as sharks and other sea creatures as well as fairies, superheroes and spacemen. Comic wigs and hats abound – in fact there’s a prize for the

‘Best Dressed Helmet’ for people taking part in the Triathlon, which combines bog snorkelling with bike riding and running. Looks familiar? Bog snorkelling’s profile received a boost last year thanks to the BBC’s Oneness campaign, which featured active community groups from across the UK. Amongst the skaters, cavers and bhangra dancers included in the campaign, you may have spotted a small gathering of snorkellers clad in fancy dress, posing on a grassy bank before plunging, fullyclothed, into the water below. Appropriately, this short ‘ident’ was used to flag up the BBC’s comedy and light entertainment shows. It was filmed in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales, where the World Bog Snorkelling Championships are held in August each year. This sleepy Welsh town lays claim to the title ‘The home of bog snorkelling’, as the sport was invented there in 1976, following a pub conversation between a few locals intent on finding a new tourist attraction. And that’s not all … Llanwrtyd Wells’ ambition to become a national hub for quirky sporting events took another step forward in 2012, with the creation of the World Alternative Games.

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Although the Games were inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and claim to uphold the ‘Corinthian spirit’ in all their events, the activities on offer at Llanwrtyd Wells are about as far removed from the Olympic programme as it’s possible to get. As well as bog snorkelling, medals are awarded for bathtubbing, belly-flopping, worm charming, wife carrying and husband dragging. Last year’s events even included a category entitled ‘Saving Donald Trump’, which featured an inflatable version of the US president. Although it is a relatively new ‘sport’, bog snorkelling has all the good humour and anarchic energy of other quintessentially British events such as pancake racing, tar barrel racing and cheese rolling, and just like those activities it requires a certain amount of skill and effort to compete successfully. Bog snorkelling may not be up there with the classic Olympic sports, but it more than makes up for that in terms of the enjoyment it generates, not to mention the good causes it helps through fundraising. You can find out more about bog snorkelling and related events at worldalternativegames.co.uk.

By Kate McLelland 57


Time of Year

Real Bread Week February 24th – March 3rd It’s the 10th anniversary of Real Bread Week: the annual celebration of local, independent Real Bread bakeries, and home-baked bread. Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods. It dates back to Neolithic times, when lumps of unleavened dough (made without yeast or other raising agents), were placed on hot stones in the embers of a wood fire. Archaeologists have correlated the development of human civilisations with the evolution of what is now regarded as the modern species of bread wheat. Over the centuries bread became synonymous with life. In England bread defined the social hierarchy. The word “Lord” comes from the AngloSaxon hlaford meaning “loaf ward”, the master who supplies food. Bread-making is chemistry-you-can-eat. Our ancestors discovered that ground grain mixed into a rough porridge with water could be transformed into a tasty, moist, puffy, mass that was crisp on the outside, simply by placing it near a fire. It was an extraordinary discovery. These flat breads as they are called are still meal staples in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Somewhere along the way we also discovered that if the porridge mixture was left in the open air for a few days it magically began to rise and could then be baked into the most wonderful cloud-like substance, leavened bread.

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Although bread has occupied a central role in our lives and diet it hasn’t all been plain sailing. The rise of ultra-refined industrial bread in the middle of the last century led to mass-produced tasteless dough devoid of much nutritional benefit. Then there was the bread boycott led by Dr. Atkins and his low-carb, high protein comrades. But real bread - naturally leavened, long-fermented, and hearth-baked is enjoying a comeback, thanks to bread pioneers in artisan bakeries across the country. They use an array of flours and traditional grains, like emmer and spelt. It’s now possible to buy high quality, beautiful, tasty loaves on many high streets. More of us are making our own bread too. There are bread-making classes and online tutorials. At the most basic level, it’s fairly straightforward to transform flour, water, salt and yeast into a loaf of bread and this is why the Real bread Campaign is keen to get children involved. The joy of nursing their first loaf from raw ingredients to mouthwatering yumminess slathered with butter and jam should not be underestimated. From then on it becomes a highly addictive pastime: fruit loaf, crusty rolls, focaccia…the urge to experiment and perfect the dough takes over. It’s the perfect family activity…and you can eat the results. What could be nicer?

By Louise Addison

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GDC HEATING

Plumbing, Gas and Oil Heating Engineers

36 Rookery Road, Wyboston, Bedfordshire MK44 3AX

Tel: 01480 215821 01582 867152 www.gdcheating.com Email: enquiries@gdcheating.com Boiler Repairs/Servicing/Installation Full Heating Installations Efficiency Upgrades Bathroom Design and Installation Specialist Powercleaning Service 30 Years in Business

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Easy Suduko

Hard Suduko

Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the digits 1 through to 9 with no repetition. Use your logic to solve the puzzles. 60

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n O s ’ t Wha In February

Deadline for What’s On entries is the 12th of the previous month. What’s on entries to whatson@villagermag.com

2 February The Big Sick (15) 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Kimbolton Community Cinema. Tickets available from Oliver’s, The Swan Pharmacy, Kimbolton Courtyard Kitchen, Bytes Café, and on the door if available. Movie & Meal tickets available from Courtyard Kitchens and Bytes Café. Tel: 01480 860297 Email: kimbolton.cinema@gmail.com Web: e-voice.org.uk/themandevillehallkimbolton/ community-cinema

5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 & 27 February St Neots Badminton Club 8-10pm One Leisure, St Neots Play badminton to a good standard and interested in joining a club? St Neots badminton club play at One Leisure Mondays and Wednesdays. Email: Committee@stneotsbadminton.org Web: www.stneotsbadminton.org

5, 12, 19 & 26 February Godmanchester Senior Citizens Club 1.30pm Afternoon Bingo 6.30pm Whist Drive 2 February Godmanchester Town Hall St Neots Local History Society £1 for Whist drive inc. tea & biscuits 7.30pm Eynesbury Junior School If you are over 55, you’ll find a warm welcome at the Annual General Meeting followed by ‘The Poppy Trail Senior Citizens Club. The club has a lively atmosphere of St Neots’ by Sue Jarrett. and a wide range of activities. Members also meet on a Saturday morning for games, chat, tea and 3 February biscuits for 50p. Non-members are welcome to visit. Art & Craft Fair 9.30am-4pm Tel: Geoff 01480 434697 or 07515 881209 Free Church Hall, St Ives Quality handmade art and craft stalls and tombola. 5, 12, 19 & 26 February Comrades Chess Club 3 February 7.30pm Comrades Club, Godmanchester Basket Weaving at Wandlebury 10am-4pm Keep your mind active and play chess. Over 18s only Wandlebury Country Park, Cambridge as it’s a licensed premises. Every Monday except £45 per adult or accompanied child aged 14+, Bank Holidays. Seeking new members – novice or CambridgePPF Members £40, Parking £3 per vehicle experienced. Ozzie: 01480 414623 CambridgePPF members free Email: ozzie.day5@gmail.com Experiment using willow to weave a simple basket as you learn the basic techniques, guided 5, 12, 19 & 26 February by an experienced basket weaver. Beginners and Scottish Country Dancing improvers welcome. Tools, tea, coffee and biscuits 8-10pm Judith’s Field, Godmanchester will be provided, but bring a packed lunch. Meet at Tel: Mrs Pat Crowe on 01480 453774 the Stable Rooms. Wear warm clothes. Places are Email: pat@patcrowe.plus.com limited so book early. Bookings must be made and paid in full 48 hours prior to the event. Wandlebury 6 February-6 March Country Park is on the A1307, 2.5km south of the ‘St Neots Now and Then’ Photographic Exhibition Addenbrooke’s roundabout. CB22 3AE. Parking is Tues-Sat 11am-4pm available on site. Tel: 01223 243830 extension 207 St Neots Museum, The Old Court, Email: bookings@cambridgeppf.org 8 New Street, St Neots Web: www.cambridgeppf.org/whats-on Locals free, Adults £3, Seniors £2, Children £1 An exhibition showcasing photographs from our 3 February historic collection of local images and highlighting St Neots Timebank Coffee Morning the changes that have taken place in the last 100 11am-1.30pm St Mary’s Church Hall years. To tie-in with this exhibition we will be Handicrafts sale. Web: stneotstimebank.org.uk launching a new service providing 20 of the most attractive images of the area for sale. 3 February Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire 6, 13, 20 & 27 February Hardy Plant Society Roxton Bridge Circle 7.15-10pm 2pm Weatherley Centre, Roxton Parish Hall Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Small friendly group playing Bridge every Tuesday Andrew Humphries, a well-known head gardener, evening. Tel: Phyllis 01480 374327 talks about ‘Creating Beautiful Gardens from Scratch’. Email: mary@jackpike.co.uk Plants for sale. Web: www.hpscambsandbeds.co.uk 7 February 4, 11, 18 & 25 February Godmanchester Senior Citizens Club Coffee Kingfisher Church Morning & Raffle 10am-12 noon 10.30am Little Paxton Primary School Godmanchester Town Hall Every Sunday - all welcome! Tel: 01480 476811 Annual membership fee is £10. Web: www.kingfisherchurch.co.uk Tel: Geoff 01480 434697 or 07515 881209

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7 February Black Cat WI 7.30pm Wyboston Village Hall The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month. Tel: Susie Woodman 01234 376098 7 February Little Paxton Gardening Club 8pm Little Paxton Village Hall Members £1, Non-members £2, Annual membership fee £7 Philip Waites, Head gardener from Wimpole Hall for over 30 years will talk about Wimpole Past, Present and Future. There is a busy and varied programme planned for 2018 with interesting speakers booked. Tel: 01480 218805 or 01480 215201 7, 21 & 28 February Little Fishes 10am-11.20am Grafham Village Hall Stay and Play Tots Session during term-time. Babies welcome too. Just turn up. Sessions include free play and craft activities, bible story and sing along. Tel: Jean Clark 01480 890033 for more information Email: robnjeanclark@tiscali.co.uk 7 February The Stukeley’s W.I. 2-5pm Great Stukeley Village Hall The Stukeley’s W.I. will be 100 years old on 7 February. Come and see our display and join in our celebrations. Tea and cupcakes will be served. Tel: Jan on 01480 450197 for further info 7, 14, 21 & 28 February St Neots Choral Society 7.30-9.30pm Eynesbury C of E Primary School, Montagu Street, Eynesbury St Neots Choral Society is in its 46th season. New members are very welcome to join and there are no auditions to frighten you but an ability to read a little music is helpful! There is an annual subscription once you decide to join the Society. Tel: 01480 212298 Web: www.stneotschoral.org.uk 11 February St Ives Antiques Fair – Special One-Day Only Fair 9am-4.30pm Burgess Hall (One Leisure Centre), Westwood Road, St Ives Adults £2, Concessions £1.50 Around 40 dealers offering affordable quality antiques and vintage pieces including ceramics, glass, silver, china, jewellery, small items of furniture, paperweights, postcards and other interesting treasures of yesteryear at prices. Dealers welcome from 8am upon production of business card. Tel: 01480 896866 Email: parkhousepr@aol.com Web: www.stivesantiquesfair.co.uk Facebook: www/facebook.com/stivesantiquesfair Twitter: www.twitter.com/StIvesAntiques

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n O s ’ t Wha In February

This is a small selection of the What’s On for the full listing please go to our website www.villagermag.com

11 February St Neots & District Indoor Bowling Club Open Day 10am-2pm St Neots & District Indoor Bowling Club, River Road, Eaton Ford Tel: 01480 391868 12 February Perry WI 7.30pm The Baptist Church, Perry For all women aged 18+. Guests are very welcome, so come and “try before you buy”. The subject this month is “kilt-folding and tartan” with Pat Wallace. 13 February St Ives Sugarcraft Guild 7.30-9pm Reading Room, Hemingford Grey Visitors £6. Monthly meetings where you can learn, hands-on, various cake decorating techniques and/or sugarcraft. The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month. Tel: Shirley 01480 454616 14 February Wild Wednesday 10am-2pm Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough £1 per person. Children and adults are welcome to come and join in some seasonal and wild crafts. Meet at Discovery Den. This event takes place indoors and is suitable for all abilities. No need to book. Tel: 01733 234193 Web: www.neneparktrust.org.uk 14 February Wildlife Trust 7.30pm Brampton Memorial Centre, Thrapston Road, Brampton Entry £2.50, Accompanied children free A talk on “dormice” will be given by Ian White of the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species, and Gwen Hitchcock, who is responsible for dormouse monitoring for our Trust. Ian has been involved with the introduction of Dormice throughout the UK and he monitors both nationally and locally. He will reveal the secret lives of these enchanting animals and the progress that has been made with their re-introductions. Booking is not necessary. Tel: Tim Fryer 01480 457795

15 February Phil Beer 8pm The Junction, Cambridge Tickets £17 Multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer is one-half of awardwinning powerhouse ‘Show of Hands’ and is equally as in demand for his solo shows.He sets out to share some of his most-loved songs at carefully selected venues across the UK. With the odd laugh thrown in for good measure, Beer’s flawless musicianship and rich vocals will leave you wide-eyed and wanting more. Web: www.junction.co.uk 16 February Make a bird box 10.30am-12 noon & 1.30-3pm Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough £6 All materials and tools provided. Meet at Discovery Den. This event takes place indoors and is suitable for all abilities. Booking essential. Tel: 01733 234193 Web: www.neneparktrust.org.uk 16 February Dunkirk Doors open 7.30pm, film starts 8pm Corn Exchange, St Ives Tickets £5 + booking fee Directed by Christopher Nolan. UK/France/Netherlands/USA 2016 106mins. 12A “All the realism, action, fear, danger, noise, pain and bravery of one of the most important operations of WW2”. Web: www.screenstives.org.uk 17 February Adult Sailing Taster £25 Nene Outdoors, Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough A taster session introducing the basic concepts of sailing. Learn about personal preparation, balancing and turning the boat through the wind. Suitable for aged 16years +. This course may not be suitable for all abilities, please call to talk to our instructors. Booking essential. Tel: 01733 234193 Web: www.neneparktrust.org.uk

17 February Birdwatching for Families 10.30am-12 noon & 1.30-3pm £2 Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough 15 February Come along to see how many different species of Happily Ever After 10.30am-12 noon & 1.30-3pm bird you can spot and how you can help them in Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough £3 winter. Meet at the Visitor Centre. This event is on Join us for stories and activities based around Beatrix surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including Potter’s tales of Mrs Tiggywinkle. This event is on wheelchair users and buggies. No need to book, this surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including is a drop in event. wheelchair users and buggies. Booking essential. Tel: 01733 234193 Tel: 01733 234193 Web: www.neneparktrust.org.uk Web: www.neneparktrust.org.uk 19 February 15 February St Neots Royal Naval Association 8pm Love’s Farm Women’s Institute The RAFA Club, 44 Huntingdon Street, St Neots 8-10pm St Neots Football Club Third Monday of every month. For further details The Love’s Farm Ladies is Love’s Farm’s new WI group, contact the Secretary Tel: Tony Webley 01480 215218 meeting on the third Thursday of the month. Email: jj.awebley@btinternet.com Tel: Nikki Jackson 07563 715043 Email: lovesfarmladieswi@gmail.com

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21 February Huntingdonshire Family History Society 7.30pm Women’s Institute Centre, Waldon Road, Huntingdon Talk by Stuart Orme on ‘A History of Crime & Punishment in Peterborough’. Non-members most welcome - £1 donation at the door appreciated. Tel: Caroline Kesseler 01480 390476 Email: secretary@huntsfhs.org.uk Website: www.huntsfhs.org.uk 21 February Ghost Walk 7.30pm St Neots Museum, The Old Court, 8 New Street, St Neots Tickets £5 Discover the haunted buildings, ghostly secrets and spooky stories of St Neots on our ghost walk. Join our 90 minute walk through the town. Meet at the museum. Please book by email. Tickets available from the museum. www.stneotsmuseum.org.uk Email: curators@stneotsmuseum.org.uk 23 February The Hinchingbrooke Bösendorfer Piano Concert - Anna Tsybuleva 7.30pm Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre, Hinchingbrooke Park Road, Huntingdon Tickets £15, all 5 concerts £60, under 21s £5, groups of 20+ £10 each. We are privileged to host Anna, the 2015 winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition at the Performing Arts Centre. She is an exceptionally fine artist with the ability to make the instrument speak with her own very distinctive and compelling voice. Tel: Box Office 01480 375678 (Monday to Friday 9am-3pm) Web: www.ticketsource.co.uk/hinchingbrookepac 24 February The Illusion of Loneliness 10.30am-1pm Huntingdon Library, Princes St, Huntingdon £15 or £25 for both courses. Drolma Buddhist Centre Meditation and Mindfulness Courses. Discover how our perception of ourselves as separate from others is an illusion, for in truth we are all naturally and profoundly interconnected. Second course is on 24 March ‘Inner peace - one breath at a time’. Everyone welcome. www.meditateinpeterborough.org.uk 24 February Family Bushcraft Fun 11am-3.30pm Wandlebury Country Park, Cambridge £30 per family/small group, Parking £3 per vehicle Have fun learning essential bushcraft skills: making shelters, starting fires, cooking on open fires and using camouflage. Booking essential. Children must remain accompanied. Dress accordingly and bring a packed lunch and a drink. Meet at Wandlebury Stable Rooms. Wandlebury Country Park is on the A1307, 2.5km south of the Addenbrooke’s roundabout. CB22 3AE. Parking is available on site. Tel: 01223 243830 extension 207 Email: bookings@cambridgeppf.org Web: www.cambridgeppf.org/whats-on

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Life Begins...

By Kate McLelland

Don’t leave your clutter to the kids! If you have children, you’ve probably thought about what you might leave them when you die. Maybe your home, if you are lucky enough to own a property? Some money? Or perhaps there are much-loved family heirlooms that you’ve planned to share out between them? Most of us are happy to make a will, setting out how we will dispose of these assets, but not enough of us stop to consider what will happen to the rest of our possessions: the bits and pieces we accumulate throughout our lives. Every item, including furniture, clothes, ornaments, framed pictures, souvenirs, books and papers – not to mention boxes of stuff that you’ve been meaning to sort out for years – will need to be picked over and subsequently sold, given away or discarded. Almost inevitably it will be your children who are left to scale this mountain of possessions. As well as organising your funeral and dealing with all the legal and administrative tasks that accompany a death, they will have to spend hours at your property, emptying the contents of cupboards and drawers into black plastic sacks. Whose responsibility is it anyway? When a person dies, a grant of probate is needed for the executor of the will to act on important financial matters, but there is no official framework in place to handle the disposal of household items and possessions – legally known as ‘chattels’ or ‘fittings’. While chattels may have little monetary value, they can nevertheless hold great significance for family members on an emotional level. If two or more family members can’t agree what to do with mum or dad’s possessions, it may

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lead to arguments and even to the break up of relationships. How can I cut my clutter? While it’s unreasonable to expect older people to clear out possessions that they still need and value, over time we all accumulate items that we seldom use, or even look at. If that applies to you, start by working systematically through cupboards and drawers, making three piles – things you want to keep, things you can recycle or give to a charity shop, and items you can throw away. Check through your clothes, eliminating anything that hasn’t been worn in the past two years: if you haven’t put it on within that period of time, it’s unlikely you’ll ever wear it again. Do an audit of your furniture. Once you’ve managed to sort through your possessions, you may find that some cupboards and drawers are now half empty. If so, think about combining your remaining possessions in one place so you can eliminate at least one piece of furniture. One way to avoid arguments after your death is to call the family together to discuss how they would like to divide up the pieces that they value. You don’t have to give those things away now – just agree who will receive each item, encouraging family members to take a photo of the pieces they will take when the time comes. As you grow older you may need mobility aids to get around, so you’ll be glad of the extra space you have created through your de-cluttering efforts. You can also be reassured that by taking time to sort through your possessions now, you’ll be saving your family time, effort and heartache in future.

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Parenting

Making STEM Fun

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are the fastest growing industries in the world. Even if your child doesn’t fancy a career in STEM, they will need to use elements of it throughout their working life. According to The National Science Foundation, “To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” So how can you help your child to develop a real enjoyment for STEM? Science - There are lots of children’s science sets available to buy, but you don’t actually need any fancy equipment to conduct simple experiments at home, such as: • Asking your child to add a few drops of oil to a glass of water. Discuss what they think will happen. Will the oil and water mix or stay separate? • Finding four old, dull two pence coins. Soak each one in a different liquid (water, coke, vinegar and lemon juice) for a few minutes to see which liquid cleans the coin the best. Technology - Computer programming now features in the National Curriculum and many schools offer basic coding clubs from Key Stage 2. Paul Lyons, IT Director at Ebuyer.com, explains, “Even if your child has no interest in

becoming a software developer, they will benefit from skills such as problem solving and following instructions - which can be applied to other areas. Many parents may not know where to begin, but introducing educational aspects into children’s technology use at home can have a real impact on a child’s ability.” There are lots of resources available to help your child at home. Useful websites include: • scratch.mit.edu, which lets children aged six and up learn the basics of creating games online. • codecombat.com, while this American site is mainly aimed at teachers, you can sign up as a parent or student to access a free short course. • www.codeclub.org.uk, which lists coding clubs for 9-13 year olds across the UK. Engineering - K’Nex model building sets are a fun way to introduce engineering concepts. The K’Nex Education Introduction to Simple Machines: Levers and Pulleys Set, for example, contains more than 170 pieces, and instructions for building eight mini machines. You can also help your child to make

simple structures using household items. Straws and play dough are ideal materials for building model bridges. Or try searching www. instructables.com for instructions on making structures out of lolly sticks or toothpicks. Maths - Kjartan Poskitt, author of Murderous Maths and Ambassador for the National Young Mathematicians’ Awards 2017, says, “I always say that maths is like broccoli. You either like it or you hate it, but you have to have some because it’s good for you. If learning the tables is driving your child mad, what can you do to sauce them up? The secret is to play around with numbers and get to know them. Here are a couple of little facts and tricks to get you started: • If you write out the digits 1 2 3 4, you can turn them into 12 = 3 x 4. You can also do this with 5 6 7 8 because 56 = 7 x 8. • Pick any three consecutive numbers (e.g. 4, 5 and 6). Multiply the smallest by the biggest, and then add one. (So here we get 4 x 6 = 24, then 24 + 1 = 25). The answer is always the same as the middle number squared (5 x 5 = 25).”

By Kate Duggan www.kateduggan.co.uk To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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Health Alison Runham ww.alison.runham.co.uk

How to get a

Good Night’s Sleep You may view a poor night’s sleep as just an inconvenience. But research has shown that insufficient or poor-quality sleep can contribute to serious health problems, including: • Weight gain and obesity. • Weakened immunity. • Increased risk of diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease, heart attack and stroke (over 45s who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke). • Reduced fertility and libido. • Reduced memory, concentration and reaction times. • Increased risk of depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations and psychotic episodes. This means it’s vital that we all get enough good quality sleep, which for most of us means at least seven hours. However, it’s not always that easy. The Enemies of Sleep • Burning the candle at both ends, trying to fit in work, domestic or family duties and that

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TV programme we don’t want to miss. Sleep disorders: night terrors, sleep walking, sleep talking, sleep paralysis, teeth grinding, restless limb syndrome and sleep apnoea. • Needing the toilet. • Pain e.g. from arthritis. • An uncomfortable or unsuitable bed, mattress or pillow. • Hormonal changes: temperature control and production of melatonin (a ‘body clock’ hormone) are affected by hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, and pain or heavy bleeding can disrupt sleep too. • Stress or depression. • Snoring. • Too much blue light. • Smoking and alcohol. • GORD (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) or LPR (laryngopharyngeal or ‘silent’ reflux, in which stomach acid damages the airways rather than, or as well as, the oesophagus, causing asthma-like symptoms). •

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Sureclean DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CLEANING

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Ten Tips to Help You Sleep: 1. Stop snoring. Maintaining a healthy weight can help to prevent snoring. You can try sleeping on your side, nasal strips, sprays or mandibular adjustment devices, but if these don’t work, consult your doctor. Not all snoring is harmless; you may be spending part of each night receiving a reduced oxygen supply, which can have serious health consequences. 2. Don’t go to bed hungry - but don’t eat late. Try to leave at least two hours between your last meal or snack and your bedtime. If you feel hungry in the evenings, choose something light and easily digestible. Milk can make you feel full and contains tryptophan, which can help sleep - but it’s absorbed poorly (eating a carbohydrate-rich snack at the same time may help). 3. Stop smoking and eliminate or reduce evening alcohol and caffeine. Both nicotine and alcohol can affect the quality and length of our sleep and caffeine is a stimulant. All three can also contribute to GORD and LPR, two of our ‘sleep enemies’. 4. Look after your body and your body clock. Our bodies are designed for, and need, exercise and daylight during the day and a more relaxed, dim environment in the evening. The hormones that regulate our body clock are responsive to these conditions. Try to make your environment as peaceful as possible during the evening. 5. Avoid blue light within two hours of bedtime. Blue light, more than any other type, interferes with production of the sleepinducing hormone melatonin. That means no TV, no tablets, no computers and no Smartphones. While blue light filters on these devices help, most reduce the blue light rather than eliminate it entirely. 6. Declutter your brain. Try talking your worries through regularly with a sympathetic friend or family member, or write them down before bed - if you can write a possible positive action beside your worries, even better. If your mind is full of todo lists, write them down too; knowing you don’t have to try to hold those ‘must-dos’ in your head should help you relax.

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7. Have a night-time routine. When bed time is just an hour or two away, choose relaxing activities like reading (titles that get your adrenaline pumping are best avoided). Try having a warm (not hot) bath and/or a massage, using relaxing aromatherapy oils. 8. Make your bedroom a haven. Try to avoid using your bedroom as a work space or dumping ground; being surrounded by work to be done or clutter to be cleared isn’t relaxing. Ensure your bedroom is well ventilated and not too hot or cold and keep the lighting low, using lamps and a blackout blind or lined curtains. Earplugs are useful if you have noisy housemates or neighbours. Try to invest in a comfortable, supportive mattress and pillows. Adjustable beds can help if a fully horizontal sleeping position isn’t right for you, and orthopaedic pillows or memory foam pillows will ensure your head and neck are well supported. 9. Try not to worry about it. Lying there worrying about not sleeping isn’t helpful. If it’s just not happening, try to do something relaxing, such as reading a magazine or doing a jigsaw, until you feel sleepy. 10. Finally, see your doctor. If hormonal problems, night time toilet trips, mental health issues, GORD, LPR or pain are the problem, or these tips don’t work, visit your GP. They may be able to find an underlying cause you’re unaware of, and can recommend treatments and lifestyle changes to help.

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January’s Puzzle Solutions and Winners Last Month’s Crossword Winner Mrs P Anderson from Biggleswade Made In Dagenham Helen Burr from Meppershall

Golf Competition Mr Christopher Glover from Flitwick Easy

Hard

Fun Quiz - Nicknames

1. On which TV show might you come across people nicknamed the Beast, the Governess, the Dark Destroyer, the Sinnerman and the Vixen? 2. Taken from the small red flower he would draw on his messages, what is the nickname of the literary character of Sir Percy Blakeney? 3. In January 2009, it was revealed that Prince Charles referred to an Asian member of his polo club by what nickname - a nickname that a number of people deemed to be racist? 4. Qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in 2006, which national football team are nicknamed the Soca Warriors? 5. Completed in 2003, the London skyscraper called 30 St Mary Axe is commonly known by what food-related nickname? 6. Which 1997 film has a two-word title that is a nickname for the US government agency called the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System? 7. Which snooker player is nicknamed 00-147? 8. Gripper, Gonch and Zammo were all nicknames of characters in which BBC TV series? 9. In which district of London would you find Aorangi Terrace, a grassed banked area that has been known by a number of different nicknames in recent years? 10. Which blues musician was born McKinley Morganfield in 1913, but took his stage name from a childhood nickname he got given due his habit of playing in a local creek? 1. The Chase 2. The Scarlet Pimpernel 3. Sooty 4. Trinidad and Tobago 5. The Gherkin 6. Con Air 7. Nigel Bond 8. Grange Hill 9. Wimbledon (it has been known by nicknames such as Henman Hill, Rusedski Ridge and Murray Mound) 10. Muddy Waters

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The Villager Prize Crossword

Prize

£25

Across 7 Red fruit (6) 8 An agreement (6) 9 Water activity (4) 10 Pieces (8) 11 Non-attendance (7) 13 Slightly inebriated (5) 15 Quarrel (5) 17 Brine (7) 20 Holding tightly (8) 21 Pain (4) 22 Customer (6) 23 Soak up (6)

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this page and send to the address below before

16th February 2018 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

Down 1 Spider’s trap (6) 2 Tepid (4) 3 Neat (7) 4 Begin (5) 5 Determined (8) 6 Smells badly (6) 12 Supplied with (8) 14 Line drawing (7) 16 Infrequently (6) 18 Cling to (6) 19 Unclean (5) 21 Plus (4)

Name: Tel: Address:

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Local News

Huntingdonshire’s part in National Campaign

to recruit new Bellringers for 2018 Armistice Day ‘Ringing Remembers’

The sound of English style bellringing has been a special part of our heritage for over four centuries and now our local church bell towers need some more people to help us keep the tradition going for the future. This is especially true in 2018 as this year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. 1,400 bellringers lost their lives during the First World War and, to honour their memory, a national campaign to recruit 1,400 new volunteers has started. Although none of the 1400 have been found to be directly linked to one of our local towers, just in the area within 5 miles of Huntingdon and Godmanchester we will need over 50 bellringers to be able to ring the bells in all the towers on Remembrance Sunday 11 November 2018. Many more are needed if we are to ring in the area covered by The Villager. Our current numbers are not sufficient to enable us to do this, we are looking for some volunteers to come and give it a go, see if they would like to become bellringers and help us commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day. There are lots of reasons to have a go. Perhaps you’d just like a new hobby in 2018, are looking to make new friends or join a bunch of friendly people (like you!) for regular practice of bellringing which can be described as a sport, an art, a mental challenge, a

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spiritual pursuit, a hobby, ‘giving something back to the community’ or all of them - you decide! So what is bellringing? It’s a team activity that uses a unique combination of skills, layered on each other. • Control – likened to riding a bike, you feel what the bell is doing and guide it to do what you want. • Timing – to within hundredths of a second achieved by rhythmic anticipation, as when playing a tennis or golf shot. • Rhythm – a whole body relaxed rhythm in time with what you hear, like dancing giving a feeling of being at one with the bell • Mental – layered on the top once you ring with others and start using predetermined patterns to create different sounds knowing what your bell is needed to do next. It’s a traditional skill which is used to commemorate ’highdays’ like weddings and holidays such as Christmas and New Year, as well as Sunday service ringing. Bells are also rung for notable secular annual days, church festivals, historic festivals and public events. Who can learn? It’s open to people from all walks of life and ranging in age from early teens to eighties or even occasionally nineties. You don’t need to be religious or musical but a minimum height of 4’ and 6 or 7 stone in weight as well as a willingness to climb stairs will help. To find out more Please contact Jez Bottley (07702 959066/ jez. bottley@gmasil.com) or Frances Smith (07909 647070). If you have been in ringer in the past and need a reason to get back on the end of rope, please take this as a nudge that you are welcome too.

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Books

Book Review By Kate Duggan Hidden Gems

This month we’ve scoured the back catalogues for a few gems you might have missed.

Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims

Gill Sims is the author of a hugely successful Facebook blog – Peter and Jane’s Mummy. Why Mummy Drinks was released last autumn and quickly became a bestseller. Written in diary format, it tells the story of Ellen, a 39 year old mum of two, who’s trying to balance work and children, while navigating playground politics, irritating in-laws and an exboyfriend. The ensuing drama is extremely funny and very relatable if you’re a parent who isn’t quite ready to hang up her dancing shoes.

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

If last year’s hit film Murder on the Orient Express has tempted you to dip into the works of Agatha Christie, why not start with her very first novel? Published in 1920 and set during World War I, it introduces readers to the brilliant mind of Belgian refugee Hercule Poirot. The murder of a woman has everyone pointing the finger at one man. It’s down to Poirot to find out the real culprit before it’s too late. While The Mysterious Affair at Styles is not considered Christie’s finest work, there are still plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked.

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