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Issue 6 - September 2018

and Town



In this issue Win a family ticket to

Southlake Aqua Park Men, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Win £25

in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People in Hitchin, Great and Little Wymondley, St Ippolyts, Charlton and surrounding areas every month

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The Old White Horse • 1 High Street • Biggleswade • SG18 0JE Tel: 01767 314344 e: 2

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Inside this issue... Win Two Years Servicing and MOT Tests from The Car Agents


The History of Suffrage...............................................................4 Flavours of the Punjab................................................................8 Win Two Years Servicing and MOT Tests - The Car Agents..........10 Win a Family Ticket to Southlake Aqua Park.............................12 The Zumba Phenomenon.........................................................14 Knees Up..................................................................................17 Six Reasons to Shop Local........................................................18 Luxembourg.............................................................................20 Indian Summers.......................................................................22 How to Look a Million Dollars...................................................24 Pondering Podcasts..................................................................27 How to Save and Make Money at University.............................28 Sofa, So Good...........................................................................31 Men, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention............................32

Wonderful Window Boxes........................................................35 A Host of Golden Daffodils........................................................36 Quirky Britain...........................................................................39 Is Your Pet in Pain?...................................................................41 Caring for Older Cats.................................................................43 History’s Most Famous Hybrids.................................................44 Nick Coffer’s Weekend Recipe...................................................47 Puzzle Page..............................................................................48 What’s On.................................................................................50 Bedfordshire Steam and Country Fayre....................................53 New Term New Tech.................................................................54 Prize Crossword........................................................................58 Beat Jetlag...............................................................................61 Book Review............................................................................62



Get your business off to a flying start this year

Advertise with the Villager Magazine... prices start from just £25.00 +VAT per month Editorial - Catherine Rose, Trevor Langley, Tracey Anderson, Louise Addison, Tom Hancock, Solange Hando, Kate Duggan, Jennie Billings, Sarah Davey, Ann Haldon, Alison Runham, Pippa Greenwood, Rachael Leverton, Kate McLelland, Berry House Vets, James Baggott, Nick Coffer and Kate Duggan

Advertising Sales/Local Editorial Nigel Frost • Tel 01767 261122

Design 9 • Tel 07762 969460 • Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email:

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 Design and Artwork 3 To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122 reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher. Photography - Valentina Gabdrakipova

History By Catherine Rose

The History of Suffrage This year marks the centenary of the first Representation of the People Act. We all know something about Emmeline Pankhurst and her suffragettes who chained themselves to railings and endured force-feeding in prison, but how did a movement that changed the course of history begin? In 1918, after years of battle by the suffragette movement in which women were routinely arrested, assaulted and even lost their lives, legislation was passed giving certain women the right to vote in public elections. The legislation allowed home-owning women aged over 30 to have a say at the ballot box. This meant that for the first time 8.4 million women could vote, but


many working class women continued to be excluded. It wasn’t until 1928, with the second Representation of the People Act, that this right was extended to all women over 21. Sadly, Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), did not live long enough to see this historic day but Emmeline wasn’t the first to argue for women’s right to vote. In 1865, The Kensington Society was founded, which campaigned for the higher education of women who, at that time, were excluded from many academic institutions. The society also formed a committee to head a petition for the

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enfranchisement of women, which MP John Stuart Mill agreed to present to Parliament. Mill was a champion of women’s rights who campaigned in vain for an amendment to the 1867 Reform Act that would have given equal rights to women, and in 1869 presented an essay to Parliament entitled The Subjection of Women. By 1866 there were nearly 1,500 signatures on the petition, including that of Florence Nightingale, but although presented to Parliament on three separate occasions, each time it was out-voted and the whole notion scorned and ridiculed, as many men believed women were physically and mentally inferior and did not possess the intelligence to vote. In 1868, the first public meeting to discuss women’s suffrage took place in Manchester. Two of the speakers were Lydia Becker, who had been inspired by the Kensington Society petition, and Dr Richard Pankhurst. Among those in the audience was Emmeline Goulder who was then 15 years old. She went on to marry Dr Pankhurst and become the woman who would take suffrage to the next level. By 1903, women had been campaigning peacefully but unsuccessfully for the right to vote in England for 50 years, while other countries such as New Zealand, South Australia and some states in the US had already enfranchised women over 21 before the end of the 19th century. It was in this year that political activist Emmeline Pankhurst founded the militant organisation WSPU. A breakaway group from the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, originally founded by Milicent Fawcett to encourage peaceful protest, the WSPU’s motto was ‘Deeds not Words’, which reflected their decision to turn to direct confrontation, even if that broke the law, to get their message across. Alongside noisy demonstrations, they threw stones, defaced property, committed arson and even set homemade bombs to make the authorities pay attention, although their focus was always on causing damage, not loss of life. Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, the co-editor of the suffrage magazine Votes for Women, came up with the three colours that went on to define the movement: violet, green and white, with violet representing loyalty, white purity and green hope. These colours were used in the suffragettes’ Votes for Women flags and banners.


It was a Votes for Women flag that was unrolled in one of the first confrontations between Christabel Pankhurst (Emmeline’s eldest daughter) and Annie Kenney with young Liberal politicians Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Grey. The women had interrupted a political meeting to ask the politicians if they thought women should have the vote, but when both men refused to answer the women began heckling them. They were arrested and, refusing to pay the fine, went to prison. And so began a regular cycle of arrests and imprisonment for the suffragettes. Once in prison, the women would go on hunger strike and were violently force-fed. This caused a public outcry so the Government, led by Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, keen that they should not engage public sympathy but equally keen that they should not die in prison as martyrs, brought in what became known as the ‘Cat and Mouse Act’. Force-feeding was stopped, and the women became weaker – but at the point when it looked as though they might die in prison, they were released. This had the added ‘bonus’ that they were too ill to take part in campaigning and demonstrations. When they had regained their strength, they would be re-arrested. Emmeline Pankhurst herself was a frequent victim of the act. Emmeline encouraged her suffragettes to learn jiu jitsu in order to defend themselves in the inevitable skirmishes that occurred with the police and other members of the public. The suffragettes had many supporters, including men. Henry Selfridge of the famous department store refused to press charges against a suffragette who broke his shop windows and flew the WSPU flag above his store. Other MPs such as Keir Hardy and George Lansbury also supported them. In 1914, the year after suffragette Emily Davison was killed under the hooves of the King’s horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby, the First World War broke out. Emmeline decreed that there was to be no more militant activism while women helped with the war effort. It is a little-known fact that working class men also benefitted from the 1918 Representation of the People Act as before this, men who did not own property were not allowed to vote either. Thanks to the suffrage movement, 5.4 million working class men also obtained a voice.

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Food and Drink

Flavours of the Punjab Punjab is located in northern India. Having one of the oldest cultures in the world, the region has a lot of very interesting history. The cuisine is highly favoured, globally.

Southall is a district of west London. From the 1950’s the South Asian community began and grew in Southall. Many well-known personalities, from musicians, through authors, poets, plus television, films and more, have connections with Southall. Multi award-winning Brilliant restaurant is one of Southall’s oldest restaurants. During the 1950’s celebrity chef and author Dipna Anand’s grandfather founded the Brilliant brand, operating a restaurant and hotel in Kenya, then, also, a catering business. Following a move to the UK, during 1973, the Brilliant restaurant was opened at Southall, to great acclaim, in 1975. Starters include Tandoori Chicken with Punjabi spices steeped through garlic yoghurt, roasted in the clay oven, which is extremely popular. The Brilliant Tandoori Mixed Grill, plus Seafood are regular selections, for many, too. Main courses offer a range that includes Palak Lamb, Chicken Curry (Half or Full Bowl), Masala Fish in a spicy Kenyan Masala and Vegetable Keema, for example. Various rices and breads are available, to accompany dishes. Desserts have Eton Mess, Gulab Jamun, plus Kulfi ice-creams and more. World-class wines/drinks offer something for all palates and complement the cuisine, splendidly. Onwards, the long-awaited and much-anticipated next venue opened in Chelsea, during February 2018. Chelsea is located in south-west London and has been home to numerous characters of note, past and present, over many years. Dip in Brilliant by Dipna Anand offers sensual Punjabi cuisine and immediately gained praise from food critics and customers, alike. The menu includes Sea Bass, Chicken and Lamb dishes, amongst impressive choices. All dietary requirements can be catered for, plus parties and occasions accommodated, at Brilliant. Cookery courses, run by the restaurant, are very popular. Private banqueting and gift vouchers are available, too. Dipna Anand is an ambitious restaurateur, expanding a welltried formula from the long-established restaurant, based in Southall. Brilliant Punjabi cuisine – Absolutely! Brilliant Restaurant 72-76 Western Road, Southall, Greater London UB2 5DZ Tel: 44(0)20 8574 1928

Dip in Brilliant 448-450 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW6 1DL Tel: 44(0)20 3771 9443

As always, Enjoy!

ey Trevor Langl


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The Swiss Garden at Night Thursday 25 October – Friday 26 October

As part of the Museums at Night event, the Swiss Garden is pleased to open its gates for two evenings in October and show off its lovely collection of trees, shrubberies and architectural features in an entirely new light. See magnificent cedars, ancient oaks, ponds, bridges and rustic buildings beautifully highlighted, and re-visit Lord Ongley’s lamp-lit Regency garden, which so impressed contemporary visitors that it was described as a ‘fairyland’ in the 1830s.

£10 per adult, £3 per child and £24 per family (2 adults, 2 children)

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01/08/2018 10:35:32


Win a Prize of Two Years Servicing & MOT Tests*

Evolution of The Car Agents in Hitchin has bucked the high street trend by announcing the expansion of its Service Centre. The servicing arm of the business is the latest stage in the evolution of The Car Agents, which moved to its current premises in 2013. Director Simon Michell said: “Now, more than ever before, businesses have to keep evolving, to make sure they continue to meet customers’ changing needs. Most people aren’t aware that behind our Queen Street showroom we actually have a large workshop with cutting-edge equipment and diagnostics. Until now, we have concentrated on our core business: buying and selling Sports, Prestige and Classic Cars. But the expansion of our Service Centre has enabled us to take the next evolutionary step by extending our servicing offer to the local community. We’re now able to work on all vehicle makes and models. Under the expert eye of newly appointed Service Centre Manager Ben Fox, we provide the high level of service you’d expect from a main dealer. We offer collection and delivery or a service loan car, and customers who prefer to wait while their vehicle is being serviced can relax on a comfy leather sofa in our retro-style Car Bar. It’s certainly very different from sitting on a plastic chair in a garage waiting room!” Simon is excited about embarking on the next stage in The Car Agents’ journey. He said: “Long-term customer relationships and community involvement are the cornerstone of our business and we intend to keep on meeting the demands of outstanding service”. To celebrate the launch of The Car Agents Service Centre this summer, we offering a prize of TWO YEARS SERVICING & MOT TESTS* for your car. Just answer correctly the following 3 questions and you will have the chance to win a fantastic prize. 1. What year did The Car Agents move from their Brand Street premises to their dealership in Queen Street, Hitchin? 2. What word is missing “Specialising in Sports, Prestige & ________________ Cars” 3. Can The Car Agents maintain your manufactures warranty when they service your car - Yes/No

THE CAR AGENTS COMPETITION ENTRY For a chance to win 2 years servicing and MOT simply answer the questions and complete your details below and post your response by 30th September 2018 to: The Car Agents Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP or email your details and answers to 1. 2. 3.

* The winner will be announced on the 30th Sept 2018. The prize has no monetary value and can not be redeemed for cash. The price excludes V8, V10 & V12 engine cars.

Name: Address: 10

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Truly Independent

OPEN MORNING Saturday 22 September 2018 Excellent independent education for girls and boys aged 3 to 18 Forward-thinking, creative and supportive environment where children are treated as individuals Green and spacious campus with top class facilities for sport, music, art and design Extensive school bus network and shuttle bus to Letchworth Garden City train station

To find out more call 01462 650 947 or email

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Win a Family Ticket to Southlake Aqua Park

A short trip down the A1 on the border of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire will lead you to a beautiful blue lake nestled amongst Cambridgeshire’s latest, greatest… and wettest attraction, Southlake Aqua Park. The Park contains everything you can imagine, from giant slippery slides and bouncy balls to inflatable obstacles and climbing walls. Amongst the obstacles you will find children and adults alike getting wrapped up in the Park’s fun challenges and hilarious mayhem. Britain’s weather is, as everyone knows, hit and miss, however, full body wetsuits can be hired, keeping you comfortably warm in all weather scenarios. If you fancy keeping dry while your little ones let off some steam, then you can enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee and other nibbles, while over-looking the lake. The facilities are remarkably dry, very clean and easy to access. Parents and guardians can rest assured that their loved ones will be in a safe environment as the Aqua Park hosts at least four, fully trained and professional life-guards at any one time. The safety briefings are concise and easy to understand, allowing everyone to have the maximum amount of fun throughout their session. Southlake Aqua Park is open from 10am to 8pm, 7 days a week with free parking available on site. Our affordable admission costs make this wet and wild activity the perfect day out for all ages six and above. Booking in advance is strongly advised due to the Park’s popularity, to do so please call 07527 007568 or visit To enter simply answer the following question correctly and send your entry by 16th Sept 2018 to: Southlake Aqua Park Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

SOUTHLAKE AQUA PARK COMPETITION ENTRY For a chance to win a family ticket to Southlake Aqua Park simply answer the question above, complete your details below and post your response by 16th September 2018 to: Southlake Aqua Park Competition, Villager Publications Ltd, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP. Answer Name:

1. In which county is Southlake Aqua Park situated?


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Come and learn more about our historical Victorian Mill Museum, during an insightful guided tour.


They’re fun and interactive and let you in to the lives of the famous Jordans family.


Tours are available from Tue – Sun at 11.30am and 2.30pm, Adults £5 (with Gift Aid £5.50), Children under 16 are free entry. Advance booking is required, please call 01767 603940 or visit



Want to go it alone? Why not grab our new self-guided leaflet (£2.50 per person) and browse the Mill Museum at your own leisure. Available Tuesday to Sunday between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.


Jordans Mill, Holme Mills, Langford Road, Broom, Nr Biggleswade SG18 9JY / Call: 01767 603940

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The Zumba Phenomenon Last week I attended my first Zumba class. I know I am several light-years late to the party but I really wish I’d got there sooner. The music; the energy; the sheer joy of being part of a diverse group of unselfconscious women (and a couple of men) all body-rolling, fist-pumping and booty-shaking in time. It was infectious and I was hooked. Zumba isn’t just a fitness craze; it’s an international business with more than 12 million enthusiasts in its classes. A whole industry has developed around it. There are Zumba classes, DVDs, CDs, video games and clothes. Zumba began in Columbia back in the 1990s. A dancer and choreographer named Alberto Perez forgot his regular music for his aerobics class. The story goes that he searched his backpack and pulled out some salsa and merengue tapes. The rest as they say, is history. Today Zumba has certified instructors in more than 125 countries around the world. For many members of my class it was their first taste of Latin music and dance steps. Yet while Zumba has brought Latin rhythms and steps to the exercise enthusiasts of the world it is not Latin dance. Each class uses salsa, cumbia, bachata, and other Latin and international rhythms and there is plenty of overlap between Zumba and salsa


By Tracey Anderson

classes; but there are plenty of differences too. For example, a Latin dancer would know that you never start a step on the right foot in Salsa - it’s not proper technique - but Zumba is an exercise class so students need to work both legs! Latin dancers can be quite scathing of Zumba, but Kerrie, who teaches my Zumba class thinks that’s a little unfair. ‘I studied Latin American dancing and ballroom,’ she says, ‘ I think that perhaps Latin dance is undergoing the same sort of transition that yoga did when it gained popularity. Fitness instructors who studied dance, and dance students who then trained as fitness instructors borrowed freely and combined elements from both genres.’ Authentic or not, Zumba has been raised the profile of Latin dance. Dance studios that offer Zumba classes say they are always packed to capacity, which can’t always be said for the regular dance classes. As it morphs and evolves, Zumba may be moving away from its Latin roots and this will annoy some people. ‘There will always be purists,’ says Kerrie, ‘But there’s room for everyone. It’s all about being healthy while having fun isn’t it?’ I don’t think anyone could argue with that.

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From Beginners to Proficiency In Hitchin or Letchworth 27 St. Faiths Close, Hitchin, SG4 0AX Email: Tel: 0737 737 9959

Charles Wilson Carpets & Flooring • Quality flooring and carpets • Modern & traditional designs • Reliable, expert fitting service • 46 years of experience

01462 450780

39 Hermitage Road, Hitchin To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122


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Kitchen | Bedroom | Home Study For all your design, supply and installation needs Family run business Visit our showroom: Unit E, Gateway 1000, Whittle Way, Arlington Business Park, Stevenage SG1 2FP Monday to Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm

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Knees Up!

From the outside the knee looks fairly simple: a hinge to let the bottom part of the leg move back and forth, in a similar manner to the way a door might open. Inside though the mechanism is rather more complex. The knee consists of two separate joints: one between the thigh and calf bones—the main joint around which most of the movement occurs; and a second between the thighbone and the kneecap. In addition, the superficially simple hinge-like motion turns out to involve gliding and rotation too. The knee cap (patella) is a disc-like bone embedded within the tendons around the knee. Its job is to protect the knee joint against any front-on injury, and to spread the force of any impact. When the leg is straightened the kneecap should press back into a special groove in the thighbone. This stops it from dislocating. The thigh muscles are key to maintaining knee stability. The quadriceps are the largest of the muscle groups and (as the name suggests) consist of four muscles. They straighten the leg at the knee. The hamstrings connect the thigh bone to the calf bones. They bend and rotate the leg, control deceleration and help the foot to land smoothly. Our hips and knees are the main weight-bearing joints in our body. The knees are most vulnerable to injury because the weight of the upper body is conducted and amplified by the thigh bones. Because the centre of gravity of humans is located around our navel, the distance between this point and a knee acts as a lever, magnifying the effects

Health of gravity on our knees as we walk to four or five times our actual bodyweight. This means that relatively small increase in our weight can have a disproportionately catastrophic effect on our poor knee joints! Excess weight accounts for around half of all operations carried out to repair the cartilage in the knee and dramatically increases the risk the of developing osteoarthritis. So, keeping our weight down is important, but so is exercise. Simple knee extensions which can be carried out slowly, sitting in a straight-backed chair are good, as are straight leg lifts which should be carried out while lying face up on a mat. To balance the opposing muscle groups, try hamstring curls, carried out while lying face down on the mat. Ankle weights can be used to increase the intensity of the exercise. It’s essential to check with your health care practitioner before starting an exercise regime if you have never exercised before. Unfortunately knee injuries are common. Mostly a period of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) will improve matters. Seek medical advice after two weeks if: • There is still pain. • You’re still limping. • You can see or feel a deformity around the knee area. • There is numbness or tingling in the knee, lower leg or foot. Seek advice immediately if: • The lower leg or foot feels cold and turns blue. • The lower leg or foot feels hot and turns red. • The knee pain is accompanied by weakness, sickness or fever.

By Louise Addison To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122



By Tom Hancock

Six Reasons to Shop Local You boost the local economy - For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. You increase the value of your home - High streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the prices of nearby homes. Discount stores and charity shops decrease home values in the area. It is more ethical - When you shop at local butchers, bakers, farm shops and green grocers, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. As a bonus it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging You support local entrepreneurs - Head for your local artisan market. These help foster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers. There is a constant turnover of new products, and sellers listen to customers’ demands. From food to fledgling clothing designers there will be something for everyone. You help to build your local community -


Bookshops, cafes and craft shops often drum up custom by hosting events, from reading groups to knitting clubs and children’s events. If local businesses are not supported, these fun local groups tend to disappear too. You might get a better deal or some good advice - Local independent businesses can use their discretion to reward regular custom. Butchers will give advice on cooking times, and how large a joint you might need to feed a family get-together, with some leftovers. Get to know your local traders.

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Luxembourg ‘Expect the unexpected,’ they say, and compact as it is, this is a truly surprising city, looping around its natural and man-made wonders on many different levels. Carved by the deep gorges of the Pétrusse and Alzette rivers, it teeters on the edge of precipitous cliffs, spanned by myriad bridges and viaducts. In this dramatic setting a good place to start is Constitution Square, where above the valley of the Pétrusse the iconic statue of the ‘Golden Lady’ holds out a crown of laurel leaves as a national emblem for pride and peace. Just steps away the mighty Aldolphe bridge towers above the ravine, where the tiny rivulet meanders among flowering trees, pocket-sized allotments, dainty footbridges and deserted trails. Wandering through this lush country-like oasis you can hardly believe you are in the city centre, but back on the top the cathedral beckons, a three-spired pilgrimage site in flamboyant Gothic style with a touch of Renaissance, guarding the tombs of the Grand Ducal family. It’s only a stroll to the Parliament House, the Grand Ducal Palace and the bourgeois dwellings and picturesque lanes of the Old Town, listed by Unesco. There are spacious parks and pleasant town squares, most popular the Place d’Armes surrounded by pedestrian shopping lanes. Named after military parades held under the Sun King, the locals call it ‘the city’s living room’, a place to

meet friends on a café terrace, relax under the trees, browse the market stalls or dance on festival days. Along Holy Spirit Street, the square by the same name has some stunning views across the lower town, close to Quirinus, the 11th century chapel with a miraculous spring, and the hidden confluence of the Pétrusse and the lovely Alzette which curls around the eastern edge of the city. There, above the Alzette, the Chemin de la Corniche was described by a local writer as ‘the most beautiful balcony in Europe’ lined with some of the finest aristocratic buildings, following the old ramparts all the way to the Bock, the rocky outcrop where history began in 963. Towers, citadel, gates, fortified bridge, casemates with 23 km of tunnels hewn into the cliffs: lords and masters left their marks over the centuries but today, on the banks of the Alzette, the Lower Grund is the most enticing district with its quiet lanes, half-timbered houses and at the heart of it all the striking Neumünster Abbey, now turned into a cultural centre. There are some delightful walks along the river, all shimmering reflections as weeping willows whisper below the garden terraces and a mini vineyard. But close to the airport, the Kirchberg plateau is a totally different world, a 21st century celebration dedicated to business, finance, European institutions and art in dazzling architectural styles. Top of the list are the Modern Art Museum (MUDAM) and the Philharmonie Concert Hall which claims three auditoriums. Luxembourg is indeed a city of many faces, the enduring capital of the last Grand Duchy in the world, traditional, vibrant and truly unique.

By Solange Hando


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Health & Beauty

Indian Summers Summer may be on its way out, but there’s still time to enjoy the last of the warm weather and lighter evenings. If you want to keep your bronzed goddess look going for as long as possible, try Isle of Paradise’s Self-Tanning Drops (£19.95). Just add a few drops to your usual moisturiser, serum or body lotion for a natural looking tan that lasts. The drops are available in three different shades – light, medium and dark, and the more drops you add, the deeper the tan. The drops even include a colour-corrector to help even out skin tone and reduce redness. See Add some definition to that tan with a bronzer and highlighting powder. W7’s Life’s A Beach Highlighter Trio (£7.95) offers both, plus a light blush, in one handy compact. Find it at The Perfume Shop, TK Maxx and at Hair feeling a bit dry and sun-damaged? Try Philip Kingsley’s Moisture Balancing Shampoo (£19) and Conditioner (£22). Designed to boost moisture without making hair greasy, the duo also adds shine and helps to detangle. They certainly help to control my frizzy mop, even on days when I don’t have time to blow-dry or straighten my hair (which is most days to be honest). They’re best for fine to medium textured hair. If you have coarse, curly or afro hair, try Philip Kingsley’s Re-Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner instead, from www.philipkingsley.


When it comes to budget beauty brands, it’s hard to beat Barry M. Every product I’ve tried so far could give the luxe brands a run for their money. The British brand also has great ethical standards, including being crueltyfree since their launch in 1982. At the moment, I particularly love the Feature Length Mascara (£4.99). It gives you long-lasting colour and longer-looking, defined lashes, with no clumping. I’m also a fan of the Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint and Topcoat (£4.99 each), for gel-look nails that stay chip-free for days on end. I get sent a lot of free beauty products to try, but Barry M is one of the brands I happily spend my own cash on. Barry M is available from Superdrug and online at Looking for a new body wash but not keen on the overly-floral or fruity fragrances on the high street? Try Neal’s Yard’s Create Your Own Hair & Body Wash (£6.50). On its own, it’s very gentle, natural, suitable for sensitive skin and fragrance-free. If, like me, you prefer your products lightly fragranced, just add a few drops of essential oil* to the mix. Try: • Lavender, chamomile or bergamot to relax • Rose, neroli or geranium to lift your mood • Pink grapefruit or ylang ylang to give you a boost • Frankincense, sandalwood or lemongrass to destress See www. nealsyardremedies. com (*Some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.)

By Kate Duggan

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House of Colour

How to Look a Million Dollars 1. Invest wisely in a wonderful coat, a bag with clearly defined lines and shape, good sunglasses and boots that will last years. Choose better quality over larger quantity every time. 2. Never dress sloppily even when you are dressing casually. Avoid creased clothes, missing buttons, faded colours, completely monochrome outfits, bobbles on wool and clothes that fit poorly! Instead choose fabrics that scream quality and express your personality through cut, pattern, colour and the character of your clothes. 3. Wearing colours that don’t suit you will always look cheaper because they won’t suit the tones in your skin pigment. Learn which colours suit you and then make considered colour combinations. The same goes for style. For example, if an asymmetric hem doesn’t suit your body shape and style personality then it will always look wrong, no matter how gorgeous the dress or skirt. 4. Cheap looking jewellery should be avoided, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. If you find jewellery that suits your skin tone and is of good quality, it can add so much to your look. Silver metal jewellery suits summer and winter seasons and gold tones suits autumns and springs. Semi-precious jewellery also adds an air of class to any dressy outfit. 5. People unintentionally associate detail with style and affluence and that detail could be anything from clean fingernails to the crease in your trousers. Even your watch and smartphone cover should be considered. Always wear polished and well-fitting shoes. 6. Every man should have at least one well-cut suit. Visit designer outlets to get a fashion-forward, good investment. A cutting-edge suit says you look professional and have integrity and that






you mean business. Hi-trend suiting should be avoided for business unless you are in a very creative environment or role. At work look at what senior management wears and then redefine by adding your own subtle style. Add your perfect coloured tie or a chic scarf and bag to add kudos. Having a great skincare routine is vital to providing the perfect base for your make up. It should go without saying to be well groomed. No one looks a million dollars if their beard is unkept or their nail varnish is peeling off. Elegance can be found in wearing the right neckline. Being stylish is wearing the right length trousers for men and the right length hemline for ladies and accessorising with a beautiful quality belt. Underwear that is not visible and fits properly can make an outfit look sculpted. Use velvet, lace and animal prints wisely. Many of us can wear animal prints only as an accessory, such as a silk scarf or as shoes. Make the effort to keep your clothes and accessories in good condition for example keep hats in boxes, use wooden coat-hangers and always fold jumpers and cardigans.

By Jennie Billings Style and Colour Consultant at House of Colour

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Education By Sarah Davey

Pondering Podcasts

Can podcasts help our GCSE students? By the time you read this article the first lot of students who sat GCSEs under the new system (Grades 9-1) will have received their results. At the time of writing no-one knows how they will have fared. The consensus from teachers seems to be that the new syllabus and grading system requires a lot more breadth and depth of knowledge, and in some subjects and classes students and teachers struggled to get through the syllabus in time to allow for revision and consolidation before the exams. As parents we want to help our young people achieve their goals, but it can be hard to know where to begin, especially if your child is struggling in an area you know little about yourself. Enter the era of podcast-learning. Most teens are familiar and comfortable with podcasts and online audio platforms such as Spotify. Well there are now podcasts on every subject from maths to Spanish and many of them are free or cost a fraction of what a private tutor might set you back. The BBC are revamping their BBC Bitesize platform ( to reflect the content of the new exams. The podcasts are short and offer a mix of text, audio and occasional video clips. Most importantly they are free to all students with access to a PC. (Some of the content does not work well on a smartphone.) Mr Allsop History ( is a free History revision website created by University of Cambridge History graduate and current teacher Scott Allsop. It’s comprehensive and he updates it regularly. There are useful sections on revision skills

and exam techniques. There are also paid-for platforms like Audiopi ( This is an educational resource created by teachers, examiners and academics. It aims to inspire GCSE and A level students with their coursework and revision. They produce exam board –specific audio tutorials for English Literature, English Language, History, Biology, Religious Studies, and Science so far. You can purchase access to one subject or a whole range of subjects for around £5 per month. They even offer a free trial. One of the most comprehensive platforms is GCSEPOD ( These are engaging, well thought-out, easy-to-understand podcasts which even tailor their content to specific exam boards. They get the balance between ‘understandable’ and ‘enough depth’ just right. The good news is that some schools subscribe to this on behalf of their students so check to see whether your child’s school offers this useful resource. Don’t panic if they don’t because you can subscribe as a parent. Access to the full range of subjects will set you back around £200 for the year, but contrast that with private tuition and it looks very reasonable indeed. One of the most fun (and free resources) for science students is The Naked Scientists (thenakedscientists. com). Their primary aim is to strip science down to its essentials. While not specific to any curriculum it’s an addictive way to gain insight into any difficult-tounderstand parts of the syllabus. As our teens move towards their GCSEs hopefully these podcasts will provide them with useful and empowering tools for learning.

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How to Save and Make Money at University

One of the trickiest but most important parts of university life is managing your money. Budgeting for food, clothes, nights out, books and study materials can be overwhelming at first, but there are ways you can help yourself. Here are a few tips to help you spend less, save more, and earn money at university, so you can stop worrying about finances and make the most of this precious time in your life. Ways to save money at university Make use of technology All you need is your mobile phone to save money as a university student. There are apps to help you save on food, that show you how to budget, and that keep an eye on your data usage. Keep your food costs down by making a list of your favourite ingredients, and an app will let you know the cheapest places to buy them locally. You can also track your expenses with a budgeting app. Just type in how much you spend each day, and what you’ve bought – at the end of the month, a report gives you a round-up of where your money is going, so you can adjust your spending if necessary. Learn how to cook Learning how to cook from scratch is a valuable skill for life, but as food is one of the highest student expenditures, it’s also a vital part of saving money. Apart from the extra cash in your pocket, you can still be sociable without the expense of eating out,


By Ann Haldon

impressing your friends with a few gastronomic delights. It’s a good idea to plan your meals ahead and only buy what you need each week, avoiding ready meals if possible, as although they’re convenient, they’re generally bad for your health. Also, stick to buying own-brand products that can usually be found on the lower shelves in supermarkets, where you might not normally look. Ways to make money at university Get a part-time job Retail, catering, and hospitality are just three areas where you could pick up a part-time job with fixed hours that fits in with your studies. Although you may need to forsake some evenings and weekends, payday could make it worthwhile to miss out on a few social occasions. Another idea for part-time work, and one that’s a little more flexible, is mystery shopping. You sign up with a mystery shopping agency, or directly with an independent company, and get paid for checking the level of service provided in their outlets. Promotion work and flyers Handing out flyers around campus and promoting club nights or events on the streets of your university town can earn you some extra money, but be sure to find out whether you’re working on a commission or a ‘per hour’ basis. If you’re sociable and good at marketing, you could even apply to become an on-campus ‘brand ambassador’ for a household brand name. You might be able to organise your own promotions and events for the brand, and make a name for yourself in marketing. how-to-make-money-while-at-university/ how-technology-can-help-you-budget-and-save/

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Sofa, so good! The story of the three-piece suite How much thought do you give your couch day-today? Unless you plan to replace it soon, probably not very much. Have you ever wondered how we ended up with the three-piece suite? The story is a 20th Century one. The key to its success is wrapped up in functionality and cost. As the middle and working classes moved out of slums and into their own homes, they needed furniture. The new homes were compact, with small rooms, totally unsuited to the heavy mahogany pieces of the large ‘society’ houses, and this type of furniture would have been beyond the financial reach of most ordinary people anyway. The three-piece suite’s popularity grew through the storylines of the 1930s Hollywood film sets. Drawing room dramas and comedies created opportunities for film makers to create lavish ‘home’ sets. Housewives of the day who went to watch the movies saw famous actresses drape themselves over silk covered sofas or chairs, created in the contemporary Art Deco style. They yearned to recreate this in their own lives and so provided a ready mass market for similar furniture. Style gurus of the period, such as Stijl in Holland, Gropius and the Bauhaus group in Germany created designs that were cutting edge yet still suited to the functionality of the new era. Although these designer pieces were still only affordable by the wealthy elite, manufacturers began to adapt designs for a mass market. Expensive coverings such as leather and silk were replaced by modern materials such as rexine, which had a dramatic

effect on the price. The three-piece suite was a staple of most suburban childhoods. Many of us can remember traipsing round furniture showrooms with our parents while they looked for the perfect set. These nearly always comprised a three-seater sofa with two matching armchairs, all upholstered in beige velour or fake leather, unless you were my mother who favoured deep red or green, lending our sitting room the air of a tart’s boudoir or a pub depending on the wallpaper! It was Habitat and IKEA that changed the concept of the three-piece suite, with their modular systems that could be made to fit any space, in a variety of fabrics. Pieces no longer had to match, so you could express your personality through your sofa choice. The modular sofa wasn’t actually invented by Habitat or Ikea. It was invented by an American designer named Harvey Probber in 1944 though it didn’t go mainstream until the 1970s. G Plan, which designed early UK versions, led the way with their 1971 Duo range. According to a 1979 article in the US magazine Interior Design, Probber’s invention was “ of the most influential developments in contemporary furniture design”. These days we nearly all have some variation on the original three-piece suite in our homes, and its difficult to see what might ever replace it. I think I’ll go and sit on mine with a good book.

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By Tracey Anderson 31

Health Alison Runham

Men, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Suicide is on the rise worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, it’s the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds and nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year; that’s one suicide every 40 seconds. There are also around 20 times as many failed attempts. These worrying statistics make World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th more important than ever – but there are steps we can take to tackle the problem.

Suicide Risk Factors Men are at significantly higher risk than women and suicide is the leading cause of death among men under 50. Statistics from The British Psychological Society show that men aged 20-29 and 40-49 are most at risk. The Movember Foundation, which works to raise awareness of men’s health issues, has concluded that men’s reluctance to openly


discuss their health and feelings or take action when they’re unwell, coupled with the stigmas still surrounding mental health, are two of the chief reasons why men’s life expectancy remains significantly lower than women’s. The damaging stereotype of the physically and mentally ‘tough’ ‘real man’ is to blame for much of men’s reluctance to express their feelings and seek help, as they fear being labelled weak. The biggest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt, but what drives people to attempt it? The WHO points out that while there are clear links between suicide and mental disorders (including alcohol use disorders), many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis. A trauma, relationship break-up, financial problems or chronic pain and illness can cause high levels of stress that may suddenly overwhelm us and seem too much to cope with. Experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse,

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or loss and a sense of isolation are also strongly associated with suicidal behaviour, and suicide rates are also high amongst groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees, migrants, indigenous peoples, prisoners and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. So, what can we do to prevent suicide on a personal level and as a society? Suicide Prevention • We need to tackle discrimination and damaging stereotypes. The boy who is brought up to believe he mustn’t cry or admit he’s stressed; the girl who hides her true sexual orientation because she’s grown up hearing gay people ridiculed; the migrant shunned by work colleagues – they’re all at higher risk of isolation and depression, and so at higher risk of suicide. It can be tough to tackle this kind of discrimination among family, friends and colleagues, but it’s important we do so. • We need to tackle the stigmas surrounding mental health. We can do this by challenging negative attitudes and ensuring that in our words and actions, we treat mental illness as just as valid and important as physical illness, acknowledging how closely they are related. Maggie Warrell, founder of Global Courage, recently wrote for Forbes about losing her brother to suicide and the role we must all play

in tackling it. “If people felt as comfortable talking about their PTSD, bipolar or anxiety as they did talking about their eczema or tennis elbow, it would markedly reduce the suffering of those with mental illness and the ability of those around them to support them.” We need to encourage people, especially men, to express their feelings, seek help with mental health issues and be more aware of the dangers of alcohol and its misuse. Depression and alcohol-related disorders need to be identified and treated as early as possible. “The tragedy of suicide is preventable,” states The British Psychological Society. “Early identification and effective action can get people the care they need.” We need to pay closer attention to those around us. Many suicide victims were reportedly ‘fine’ just days or even hours before ending their lives, so we should look out for warning signs. If we fear someone we know may be contemplating suicide, we need to get help on their behalf – and take the horribly practical but essential measure of removing, as much as possible, any potential means for suicide, be that a stockpile of pills or a means to fatally injure themselves.

If you are struggling with a crisis or a mental health issue, do get help. It may feel like your pain will never end, but things can get better, as bestselling author and depression sufferer Matt Haig reminds us in Reasons to Stay Alive. “Smaller than you. Always it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you; you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but… you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.” Useful Info Samaritans: call 116 123, open 24/7 every day Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men 0800 58 58 58 open 5pm - midnight every day Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive, Canongate Books. Many people who have suffered depression and/or contemplated suicide credit this book for helping them through crises.

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Wonderful Window Boxes As summer fades into early autumn, it can be sad to see beds, borders, pots and planters look a little worse for wear, so why not treat yourself to some late summer and early autumn colour in a pot, planter or, better still, a window box? With styles ranging from woven willow to classic hardwood and urban chic aluminium, in all sizes and colours, there is plenty of choice – but make sure it will fit easily on to the window sill and won’t be too heavy! Some of my favourites plants to use are hardy Gerberas (these do need a good warm, sunny spot), variegated ivies and the wacky, compact Crassula with fleshy foliage and dusky pink flowers. But take time deciding on the combination that makes YOUR heart sing. Some window boxes have impermeable liners, in which case add an inch or so of horticultural grit or gravel to provide drainage, so if you do overwater (or it rains too much) the excess water will be less likely to sit around the roots and cause the plants to suffer or die. To keep weight to a minimum, use broken up polystyrene from bedding plants or the packaging around household appliances instead of the grit or gravel. A good quality multi-purpose compost is perfect for a temporary planting like this, but if you intend to replace your plants with other hardy, seasonal stunners later in the year, then a 50:50 mixture of a loam-based compost and a multi-purpose one allows for better stability from the weight and texture of the loam, combined with better aeration and drainage from the multi-purpose

compost. Fill the window box about half full, gently firming it, but don’t compact it or the plants won’t get their roots down so well. Next, get the plants into position. Trailing plants like variegated ivies should be placed to cascade over the edges of the window box – this looks fantastic and adds to the apparent size of the display without adding significantly to the weight of the container. A larger plant like the Crassula gives a good focal point and flanking gerberas (for example) will add colour. Gently move the plants until you’re happy with how they look, then fill in gaps between the root balls with more compost, firming gently with your fingers to ensure there’s no subsidence later on. Then water well using a watering can with the rose in place, so imitating rainfall. A stunning window box can be created in under half an hour. Make sure it is secured properly on the window sill – and that you can open the window (or access the box from outside) to keep it adequately watered. The window box will benefit from occasional feeding with high-potash feed and of course will need to be regularly deadheaded! Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com and you’ll find some great gardening items: Nemaslug, green controls for leatherjackets, chafer grubs, ants and greenfly, plus garden plant supports, raised bed kits, Easy-Tunnels, gardening tools, Grower Frames, signed books and more! Or why not book Pippa for a gardening talk?

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Garden View

By Rachael Leverton

A Host of Golden Daffodils Garden centres, nurseries and catalogues are full of daffodil bulbs now. I have to exercise supreme self-restraint every time I wander in! I think I get asked more questions about daffodils than any other plant, apart from roses. I think it’s because they are ubiquitous in the spring and so we assume they are easy to grow. They are... and they aren’t, so I’ll answer the most common questions I get asked here. I think the question I get most is ’How do I get my daffodils to flower more than one year?’ It’s a good question. It’s tempting to think that the only thing you have to remember about planting daffodil bulbs is to set them pointy side up, but it’s a bit more complicated than that if you want them to flower every year. The trick is to set them deep enough. If you plant them just below the surface, as so many of people do, they dry out, which means they lack the food and moisture to get them through until the following year. The result is an uninteresting clump of leaves rather than a host of golden daffodils. You can plant daffodils any time now, to the end of October. Sooner is better. The next question I get asked a lot is, ‘What’s the difference between daffodils and narcissi?’ This is also a good question. All daffodils are

narcissi, but not all narcissi are daffodils! ‘Daffodils’ is the name we give to narcissi with large trumpets. The third question I’m often asked is, ‘How far apart should I plant the bubs? They should be planted about 3 inches / 8cm apart in holes about 10 inches / 25cm deep. It looks deep when you are dropping them in but it’s worth the effort for the repeat flowering. Choose the biggest firmest bulbs you can find for each variety. The final question I get asked is, ‘When can I cut down the foliage after flowering?’ I would suggest waiting for 6 weeks. If you have a very small garden and can’t bear to have untidy foliage lying around you might be better treating the bulbs as annuals (daffodil bulbs aren’t generally expensive.). Or you can plant them in an aquatic basket, and after flowering you can dig the basket up, water the bulbs regularly then replant in the autumn. Alternatively, you can buy dwarf varieties of daffodil which have daintier flowers and foliage, so you can have pretty flowers without the resulting foliage posing a problem. Whatever you decide, remember plant deeper than you think and…

Happy Gardening


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By Kate McLelland

Quirky Britain

Um, sorry, but why are we Brits so polite? “Err … excuse me, sorry, but … um, I’m afraid you’re standing on my foot.” The British have politeness written into their DNA. Nowhere else in the world will you find people so ready to put up with discomfort rather than be considered pushy or rude. How it started is a mystery. The British, as we all know, are a pretty pugnacious lot. We value forthright leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher and count the ruthless King Henry VIII and buccaneering sailor Sir Francis Drake amongst the nation’s favourite historical figures. Nowadays the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, JK Rowling, Boris Johnson and Lily Allen are celebrated for their outspoken views, and yet we average Brits are apparently so fearful of causing offence that we remain tight-lipped even when we are subjected to discomfort or inconvenience. If someone is thoughtlessly blocking our way, we say “excuse me” as if it were our fault, and if we receive grudging service in a restaurant, we’ll not only say “thank you”, we’ll probably even leave a tip. Another classic British trait is our talent for understatement. Our tendency to underplay everything was famously demonstrated during the Korean War, when embattled British soldier Brigadier Tom Brodie of the Gloucester Regiment reported to an American superior officer, General Robert H Soule, with the fatal words: “Things are a bit sticky, sir.” He meant that his men were facing an imminent and terrible defeat, but the General’s interpretation was that despite some difficulties, the

Gloucesters were successfully holding the line. Unsurprisingly, this miscommunication resulted in huge numbers of British soldiers being killed, wounded and captured. Media personality Stephen Fry, dubbed ‘the most polite man in Britain’, admitted to BBC presenter Mark Lawson: “Being over-polite is not attractive … I can’t watch someone not saying thank you, and I can’t not say it myself. If I noticed I hadn’t said it, I’d have to come back in the room and say ‘thank you’. It’s feeble!” If Stephen Fry – an icon of good manners – dislikes over-politeness, what will become of the rest of us? Will we eventually ditch this quintessentially British behaviour in favour of a more direct (some would say more honest) approach? It doesn’t seem as though this will happen any time soon. A report published by research company Childwise looked at the way children interact with the artificial intelligence bots in devices such as phones and tablets. Researchers found that children were barking commands at their robotic helpers without using “please” and “thank you” and concluded that this behaviour might encourage them to become aggressive in later life. In response to Childwise’s findings, Amazon has now included a politeness feature (known as ‘Magic Word’) in its Echo Dot software and it’s likely that other tech companies will follow Amazon’s lead. With robots getting in on the act, it’s unlikely that we’ll forget our “pleases” and “thank yous” in future. In fact, as the technology develops, it may even become easier to tell a stranger that he’s standing on your foot: simply get your unfailingly polite robot to speak to him for you.




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Is Your Pet in Pain? September is Animal Pain Awareness Month It’s definitely worthwhile paying attention to changes in your pet’s behaviour, as it could indicate that they’re in pain. September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, so here we look at some of the signs you should look for. Altered sleeping patterns Some pets sleep more when they’re dealing with pain, whilst others are less able to sleep because of the discomfort. If your pet’s general sleeping pattern has altered noticeably, it’s worth looking a little closer at other behaviours, as it could be a sign of physical distress. Changed social interactions It’s more obvious when your pet withdraws from social interactions if they’re naturally gregarious, but even quieter animals may be noticeably withdrawn when they’re feeling pain. On the other hand, they could be more aggressive,

or generally less tolerant of people and other animals around them. Drop in appetite Humans tend to lose their appetite when in pain, and it’s the same with animals. If your pet is eating less and appears to be losing weight, speak to your vet as there might be a serious underlying cause. Change in eye appearance When an animal is in pain, it often shows in their eyes, which can appear strained, potentially with larger dilated pupils. Dogs and cats also sometimes squint, and develop bloodshot eyes. It’s often an animal’s general behaviour that alerts you to their pain, but by keeping an eye out for these telltale signs, you’ll be able to react quickly and deal with the cause.

By Ann Haldon

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Caring for Older Cats:

Berry House Vets

Top tips for looking after elderly and senior cats Whilst it’s not unusual for cats to live to a ripe old age – sometimes even over 20 – our feline friends are considered to have reached seniority by the age of just eight. Once your cat hits her senior years her immune system begins to weaken and she becomes more susceptible to infection – making those vaccinations and veterinary checks even more important. She is also likely to go through a number of physical changes which may be perfectly natural signs of ageing, and nothing to worry about. These may include: declining activity levels with less muscle tone, increasingly stiff joints and weight gain, changes in sense of smell, taste, hearing and eyesight. Metabolism and digestion can also change; Problems with kidneys, heart, teeth and gums are also not unusual. Their weakening immune systems make elderly cats more prone to develop diseases and conditions, including: kidney or thyroid disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues and arthritis. Weight changes, increased thirst and or urination, diarrhoea, sickness, lethargy, appetite changes and reduced activity or mobility are all signs that suggest a vet check up is required As your cat gets older it’s natural for her to sleep more but it’s still important to provide a stimulating environment to keep her physically and mentally active and engaged. Your vet can give you advice on this, and on adapting your cat’s diet as she gets older to help manage weight, condition and increase lifespan.

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History’s Most Famous Hybrids Hybrids have been around since just after the Big Bang, and since then matter has been combining into hybrids – at first to form atoms, then elements and compounds and the building blocks of life. Hybrids are all around us, and even inside us – humans are 60 per cent water, itself a hybrid. Some hybrids have even changed the world… CENTAUR

These half-human, half-horse hybrids were dreamed up by the Ancient Greeks, probably as a reaction to their first encounters with nomads on horseback. PIZZLY BEAR

Found in zoos since the Eighties, this cross between polar bears and grizzlies was found in the wild in 2006, with DNA tests confirming it was a hybrid: white like a polar bear but with a grizzly’s face, along with brown paws and big claws. TOYOTA PRIUS

first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and one of the most important cars of all time. When it first came along, few thought that – one day – even supercars would be fuelled by a mixture of petrol and batteries. The Prius, now in its fourth generation, has sold over four million units. BLOODHOUND SSC

The Bloodhound SSC, the 1,000mph car, combines a jet engine with a cluster of rockets. In all, it has about 135,000 thrust horsepower, more than eight times the power of all the cars on the F1 grid combined. It will need 40 litres of rocket oxidiser for every second of its top speed run in South Africa next year. WATER At 1,260 trillion million litres, water is the world’s most abundant compound (a chemical hybrid of two or more elements). Only 2.5% of this is fresh water, and in a 100-year period, a single water molecule spends 98 years in the sea, 20 months as ice, about two weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere. CHIMERA EMBRYO

By James Baggott used to host human organs for vital transplant operations, rather than having to wait for a donor. PUGGLE The Puggle – designed to fit in a handbag – is the comedy hybrid of a Beagle and a Pug. Other designer dogs include labradoodles, horgis, cockapoos and schnoodles. TREE OF 40 FRUIT

The Tree of 40 Fruit is an arboreal artwork created by American art professor Sam Van Aken, who grafts buds from various fruit trees onto a single ‘stock’ tree. The tree grows branches from its different donors, each bearing a unique fruit, including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and cherries. LEXUS LS500h

Soon every car will feature hybrid or electric technology, and already carmakers such as Lexus and Toyota have a hybrid-electric version of almost every model in their showroom. 99 per cent of Lexus’s UK sales are petrolelectric hybrids, such as the new LS500h, an executive saloon with limousine-like luxury. It has the first multi-stage hybrid system, featuring a 3.5-litre V6 combined with clever electric motors. The best of both worlds? That’s what hybrids are all about.

It’s over 20 years since Toyota launched the Prius, the world’s

In genetics, a chimera is a hybrid organism with cells from two different species, such as pigs and people. It’s controversial, but edited animal embryos can be


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Burger So let’s be clear, this is basically a delicious prawn cocktail, slathered onto a light and perfectly formed thick prawn fish cake, served in a brioche burger bun. What’s not to like? And my word it works! Layers and layers of flavour and texture make this a perfect alternative to a traditional burger. And its creator, Tom Bainbridge, a regular guest on my Weekend Kitchen programme, is no traditional chef. He taught himself how to cook when he took over the Tilbury in Datchworth and now holds two AA Rosettes there. He loves playing with the classics and usually cannot resist a sweet twist to his dishes. Here he recommends using sweetened brioche buns to do exactly that… This will make up to 6 burgers 500g raw king prawns (shelled) 100g diced raw cod 100g sweet brioche (failing that just use good quality white bread) 1 x jalapeno chili 50g fresh coriander Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 large banana shallots 2 garlic cloves Salt, pepper and a squeeze of honey to season For the shrimp cocktail: 200g cooked small prawns 50g mayonnaise 25g ketchup Splash each of brandy, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco and Lemon, to taste To Serve: Brioche Buns, iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, crème fraiche

1. Dice up the brioche and toast it under the grill until lightly brown. 2. Roughly chop the shallot, garlic and chili then place all the burger ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Take a small piece of the mixture and fry it to check for seasoning. Adjust the seasoning if it needs more. 3. Form the mixture into six individual patties and place them in the fridge to allow them to firm up. 4. Once firm, fry them in a little oil on a medium heat for 6 minutes, turning every minute. 5. Meanwhile make the shrimp cocktail sauce. Squeeze any excess moisture from the shrimp, then place all the cocktail sauce ingredients, except the shrimp, in a bowl and mix well. Once mixed, add the shrimp back in. 6. To build the burger, first toast the brioche buns. Once toasted, place some shredded iceberg lettuce at the bottom, then add the shrimp cocktail, followed by the burger and a thin slice of tomato on top. You can finish the burger with a spoon of lime zest crème fraiche, but this is optional.

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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Codeword 1



























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. 48

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n O s ’ t Wha In September

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

1 September The Signals Museum Open Day 10am-4pm The Signals Museum at RAF Henlow is open to the public. Entry is free but official photo ID such as a driving licence, passport or over 60s Bus Pass is required to get an entry ticket from the Guardroom. Web: 3, 10, 17 & 24 September Staplers Country Dance Club 8-10pm St John’s Community Hall, Hitchin Staplers is a social folk dance club. If you don’t know what that means come along one Monday evening and meet us. It’s easy to start as all the dances are walked through first then called and you don’t need to come with a partner; lots of us come on our own. We are a friendly group and you will be made very welcome. Car parking is available next to the hall. We meet every Monday apart from Bank Holidays and the school summer holidays. Tel. 01462 895567 or 01462 624144 Web:

6 September Stevenage Plus Social Group New Member’s Night 8.15pm Stevenage Plus Social Group is a fun and friendly social group with members in their 30s and 40s from Stevenage, North Herts and surrounding areas. We have a varied programme of events on Thursday and Saturday evenings as well as day trips and weekends away. New members are always welcome. You can join us on any Thursday at 8.15pm to find out more about us but our special New Member’s Nights are on 6th September and 11th October. Tel: 01438 231550 Web 6-9 September ‘Art4Africa’ Art Exhibition 9am-6pm The Old Chapel House, Riseley Road, Keysoe, MK44 2HT An array of paintings, pottery, sculptures, photography, jewellery and gifts from renowned national and local artists will be showcased and available to buy, with 100% of the proceeds going to local charity, Rise Africa UK, which supports the education of vulnerable children in Tanzania. BBQ on Saturday and Sunday. Web:

7, 14, 21 & 28 September Springfield House Friday Bridge Club 1.30pm Springfield House (the home of the Old Stevenage Community Centre) To play cut-in Chicago Bridge. Play is informal and friendly. Tel: Richard Bean 01438 221517

8 September Children’s Book Festival 10am-2pm British Schools Museum, 41/42 Queen Street, Hitchin Tickets £5 (age 4+) Come and see three popular authors and 6, 13, 20 & 27 September illustrators, in the historical surroundings of Roundabouters Country Dance Club the British Schools Museum. Building on the 8-10pm Friends Meeting House, popularity of last year’s Festival, this year’s is Cuttys Lane, Stevenage bigger and better, with more on offer. Come Friendly club for English country dancing. and see three of your local favourites - James We welcome new members, both beginners Mayhew, Harriet Muncaster and Martin and experienced. All dances walked Impey tell you their stories, and maybe even through; club and guest callers ensure a sign a book or two for you! Tickets are on varied programme. Tel: 01438 727 239 sale now - be sure to get yours before they Email: sell out! Tel: 01462 420144 Web: Web:

3, 10, 17 & 24 September Branch Out Social Club for Single People 8.30-11pm Cromwell Bar, The Sun Hotel, Hitchin Branch Out meets every Monday night and is a medium-sized Social Club for single people. It was formed in 1995 to bring together single, divorced, widowed and separated people, aged 40 upwards, from the Herts, Beds and Bucks area, to socialise and enjoy one another’s company. The club organises regular events, such as dinners, discos, meals, parties, Sunday walks, theatre and concert visits, day and weekend trips and holidays. Tel: Lorna 01438 233657 6, 13, 20 & 27 September Web: Sapphire Social Club 8.30pm The Orange Tree, Hitchin 4, 11, 18 & 25 September We are a small and friendly group for single Stevenage Bridge Club people generally aged 50 and above. We 7.30pm Priory Nursery, Stanmore Road, offer a variety of social events during the Old Stevenage month and the opportunity to meet and To play Duplicate Bridge. A host system make new friends. Potential new members is run to find partners, if required. A wide are warmly welcome to come along and level of ability play at the club. meet us with no joining fee for the first two Tel: Phil Cooper 07957 813434 months. Tel: Joyce 07952 678021 or Ian 07900 890583 for info Web:


7 September Hitchin & Letchworth Local Group RSPB 7.30pm Members free, Visitors £3 The Settlement, Nevells Road, Letchworth ‘Colorado: the Chicken Run’ with Stuart Elsom. Stu takes us across the state of Colorado from knee-deep snow to barren dust-bowls, on his quest to see all the species of grouse or prairie chicken at their rather entertaining communal courtship ‘leks’. Tel: 01763 249459 Email: Web: hitchinandletchworth

8 September Letchworth District Gardeners Association Autumn Show 2pm Free Church Hall, Norton Way South, Letchworth Come and see our displays of flowers, fruit, veg and handicrafts. Both members and non-members are welcome to enter and there is a trophy for best newcomer. There will again be a floristry demonstration and a produce sale including cakes, jams & chutneys as well as home-grown produce. Web:

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n O s ’ t Wha In September

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

8-30 September Herts Open Studios 2018 This popular annual event connects art-lovers and artists and is even bigger this year, with 150 artists are taking part at almost 70 solo and group venues across the County. As always, visitors will be able to enjoy a rich mix of free-to-enter experiences including personal studios, live demonstrations, exhibitions and more. Hosted by Herts Visual Arts and established almost 30 years ago, it’s a unique opportunity for inspiration and discovery - a popular fixture of Hertfordshire’s annual art calendar. Web: 12 September North Herts Association of the National Trust Coach Outing A whole day trip to NT property Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire and the NT Museum of Childhood. See life ‘upstairs’, including one of the most beautiful long galleries in England and a glimpse of life ‘downstairs’. View childhood from Victorian to present times, both for privileged and working children. Café and parkland. Tel: Secretary Mrs Colette House 01462 815585 or 07831 111062 Email: 14 September Unicorn Ceilidh 7.30-11pm St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Street, Baldock Adults £10, Concessions and family tickets available. Unicorn Ceilidh with The Hosepipe Band and Barry Goodman. Ceilidh dances are great fun, easy to learn and addictive! Clear instructions from the caller before and during each dance allow anyone to join in and enjoy the dancing. Our combination of the finest live bands, top callers and a bar serving local Real Ale and Cider plus wine and soft drinks guarantee an excellent, fun-filled evening for all. Tickets are available on the door but advance purchase is recommended. Email: Web: Tickets:

14-16 September Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre 9am-5pm Old Warden Park, Nr Biggleswade Adults Fri £12, Sat & Sun £15, Under 16s free if accompanied by paying adult One of the leading steam events in the country with over 130 steam engines attending each year and over 600 other exhibits and much more to see. Organised by the Bedford Steam Engine Preservation Society which hosts its 60th annual rally this year. For the complete day out visit the beer garden, listen to the band and visit the trade stalls, food hall and craft marquee. Take a break and watch the arena acts including the Jez Avery Stunt Show, David Seamark and his Sheepdog display, Heavy Horse turnouts and the English School of Falconry. Stay into Saturday evening and end your day marvelling at the magnificent showman’s engines generating the fairground rides and attractions. We look forward to seeing you during the special weekend. Come and see how it was done in grandfathers’ day! Tel: 01462 887200 Email: 16 September Hitchin & Letchworth Local Group RSPB Coach Trip Coach fare Adults £15, Under 18s £7.50 Coach Trip to Cley NWT Reserve, Norfolk. Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s flagship reserve offers fantastic opportunities to see reed bed birds, such as bittern and bearded tit, as well as passage and departing migrants. Permits £4.50 or £5.00 with Gift Aid. Coach pick-up times: Hitchin 7.30am, Letchworth 7.45am & Royston 8.05am. Booking essential. Tel: 01462 451320 Email: Web: hitchinandletchworth 18 September Stevenage RSPB Local Group 7.30pm The Friends Meeting House, Cutty’s Lane, Stevenage RSPB Members £3, Non-members £3.50, Under 16s 50p First meeting of the new season. Michael Hooper presents a talk about his visit to Borneo.

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20 September The Glory That Was Greece 7pm for 7.30pm British Schools Museum, 41/42 Queen Street, Hitchin Tickets £5. ‘The Glory That Was Greece’, Andy Gibbs’ illustrated talk charts the rise of Classical Athens. How did a small, obscure city state come to dominate the classical world? Web: Web: Tickets https://bsmevents.yapsody. com/event/index/194456/the-glory-thatwas-greece 22 September Weston Music Society Concert 7.30pm Weston Parish Church, SG4 7DJ Tickets £16 or three concerts for £40 Trio Goya - Violin, Cello, Fortepiano. Mozart - trio in B flat KV502; Haydn - trio in E flat XV:30; Beethoven - trio in G Opus 1 no 2. Autumn concerts are on 20 October and 17 November. Tel: 01462 790214 Email: Web: 23 September Stevenage RSPB Local Group Trip to Rainham Marshes 10am. An all-day car trip to RSPB Rainham Marshes near the Dartford Thames crossing. Meet in the reserve car park at 10am. Map ref 177/TQ 551790. Postcode RM19 1SZ. Leader Graham Beevor 01438 232055. 27 September Stevenage RSPB Local Group Car Trip 9.30am Visit this popular site near Ware for a morning wildlife walk around the lakes. Meet at the main viewpoint at 9.30am. Map ref 166/TL 376128. Postcode SG12 9SS. Leader Trevor Storey 01438 226014 3 October North Herts Association of the National Trust - 7.30pm Christchurch, Bedford Road, Hitchin Non-members £2 on the door Talk on ‘Hitchin beneath your feet’ by Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews. Non-members welcome. Membership of the National Trust not necessary. Tea and coffee served during the evening. Second-hand books and homemade preserves are on sale at every meeting. Tel: Mrs Colette House 01462 815585 Email:



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Local News

Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre 2018 Held in the magnificent grounds of Old Warden Park near Biggleswade, the Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre is one of the leading steam events in the country. Over 130 steam engines attend each year with over 600 other exhibits and much more to see. Organised by the Bedford Steam Engine Preservation Society this event attracts over 20,000 visitors each year. This year the Society hosts its 60th annual rally on the 14th – 16th September, one of the largest events in the local area each year. We aim to give an insight into the country life at the turn of the 20th Century when steam was in its heyday. Many working demonstrations are taking place wherever you may care to roam on the 400 acre site. For the complete day out visit the beer garden, listen to the band and visit the trade stalls, food hall and craft marquee. Take a break and watch the arena acts including the Jez Avery Stunt Show, David Seamark and his Sheepdog display, Heavy Horse turnouts and the English School of Falconry. Stay into Saturday evening and end your day marvelling at the magnificent showman’s engines generating the fairground rides and attractions. We look forward to seeing you during the special weekend. Come and see how it was done in grandfathers’ day! Under 16’s get free entry! If you have any further questions contact the show office on 01462 887200 or email You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @bedfordsteam.

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New Term Tech

Get your child’s next computer for less

From clothes to computers, the cost of sending your offspring to school, college or university seems to increase every day. So how can you be sure you’re not spending more on technology than you need to? The trick is to get the maximum bang for every buck – and sometimes that means avoiding false economies. A cheap laptop may save you a few pounds now, but it might not be able to cope with everything your child needs it to do; for example, a Chromebook laptop may be ultra-cheap but if your child’s going to be using it instead of a TV its small screen isn’t going to be a lot of fun. The sweet spot for budget laptops is around the £300 mark, and if you go much below that you’ll be cutting corners. It’s often a better idea to shop around for a second hand laptop on Gumtree or eBay (if you’re careful: stick to reputable sellers and make sure you follow the buyer protection policy so you’re protected against

any shenanigans) – a powerful laptop that’s been well looked after for a year or two may be a better buy than a brand new, super-cheap laptop. That’s particularly true of Apple laptops. The cheapest Apple laptop, the MacBook Air, is currently £949 and isn’t particularly powerful. If you’re considering any Apple device, the first thing to do is to investigate whether your child qualifies for an education discount ( uk-edu/shop/go/education). If you or your child qualify, the discounts can be significant. Another option is to consider a refurbished Mac. Refurbished computers are computers that have been sold and then returned. Sometimes that’s because of a fault that has since been corrected or because a customer simply changed their mind; sometimes it’s because the laptop was leased to a company and returned after the lease period is up. Whatever the reason, it can’t be sold as new.

That can mean good discounts even on fairly new computers. It’s important to understand the key differences between new and refurbished computers. They ship without faults but may have damaged or missing packaging, and they may have light cosmetic damage on their case. The warranty is much shorter, and any AppleCare insurance you take out will run out on the anniversary of the date the Mac was first sold, not the date you acquired it – so for example you won’t be able to buy AppleCare for a refurbished Mac that’s three years old. As you’d expect, the older the Mac the bigger the discount – and if you’re a confident eBay buyer you can save even more. For example, at the time of writing a reputable eBay seller is offering a refurbished late 2014 MacBook Pro with 13” Retina display for £650. That’s a lot of money, of course. But the current 13” MacBook Pro starts at £1,249 and the refurbished one is good for several years yet.


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STRONG-BASE Driveways & Landscaping Transform the appearance of your property with a beautiful new Resin Bound Gravel driveway, patio or pathways. Call today for a free no obligation design and price quotation.

Call Paul on: 07794 791 978 UK Landscape Gardener of the Year Award 2015 UK Driveway Transformation Award 2016 UK Driveway Transformation Award 2017

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Serving all of Herts - Based in Stevenage Specialising in replacing misted units

BEFORE AFTER email: website: 07977 911 926 / 01438 906300 • Misted/broken double glazed units • Sticking doors or windows adjusted • Broken/loose handles • Leaded or Georgian units replaced • Hinges for gapping windows • Leaks fixed • All types of locks replaced • Energy saving Planitherm glass • Cat/dog flaps in glass or panels • Door re-alignments Visit our website for over 30 customer reviews 56

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August’s Puzzle Solutions and Winners Last Month’s Crossword Winner Mrs Beryl Havers from St Neots Winner of the Herrings Green Farm Competition Helene Bradshaw from Clophill



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The Villager Prize Crossword



Across 7 Absorb (6) 8 Worn away (6) 9 Wooden shoe (4) 10 Sailing (8) 11 Stealing (7) 13 Evil spirit (5) 15 Take away (5) 16 Ask for (7) 18 UK minimum voting age (8) 19 Chilled (4) 21 Well known (6) 22 Decorated (6

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


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

Down 1 Herb (4) 2 Locale (13) 3 Remaining (7) 4 Compassion (5) 5 Donations (13) 6 Fragments (8) 12 Authentic (8) 14 Reconciliation (7) 17 Stop (5) 20 Consumes (4)

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Architect drawings and planning applications catered for Estimates and ideas FREE Call Richard on 07818 061505 To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122



Do you find it difficult to get someone to come and do a small job? Fault finding/repairs Extra lights and sockets New fuse boards Electrical testing and certificates Qualified electrician  Fully insured Reliable service  Tidy work Free quote  Satisfaction guaranteed

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Beat Jetlag

Time of Year

Fact: The human body was not designed to travel long distances at high speeds across time zones. The result of this fact is jet lag. Is there any way to minimise its effects? Yes! Here are our handy tips to beat jet lag. It’s all in the timing - Whether you like to kick back with a good movie on a long-haul flight, or prefer to check emails and work, remember the blue light emitted from tablets, laptops and screens can delay sleep. Turn off devices one hour before your nap time. Eat healthily and space out meals - Stick to light fare, such as seafood salads. Many long-haul airlines employ teams of nutritionists to design wholesome meals, designed for easy digestion and energy. Stay hydrated - The rule of thumb is to drink at least a quarter of a litre of water for every hour you’re in the air. Get some rest - The more rest your body gets en route, the more prepared you will be to deal with the stresses of jet lag. Take a travel pillow, a small blanket, your own noise-cancelling earplugs, and an eye mask. Match local time - From the time you board the plane set your watch to the local time of your destination. On the plane aim to move towards eating and sleeping at the time you will do these activities when you arrive. If you follow these steps you will be more likely to avoid the major effects of jetlag when travelling.

By Sarah Davey

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Book Review By Kate Duggan

Painter and Decorator Lavender Marshall Painters & Decorators Internal and External Coving, Wallpaper Hanging Fully Insured. 20 years experience

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Raynor and her husband Moth lost their farm just days after finding out that Moth was suffering from an incurable, life-limiting illness. With no money and nowhere to live, the couple made the decision to walk the South West Coast Path – 630 miles through Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. The Salt Path is the true story of that walk – the challenges Raynor and Moth faced, the people they met and the things they learnt along the way.

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman’s series follows a Jewish boy called Felix in Poland during the Second World War. Felix runs away from an orphanage in search of his parents, who disappeared several years before. Along the way, he befriends a girl called Zelda, and receives help from various people he meets. As you’d expect, the story is harrowing at times, but it’s also funny, uplifting and impossible to put down. This one will stay with you for a very long time.

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Fantastically Great Women Who Made History by Kate Pankhurst

A follow-on from Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, this children’s book includes stories about a diverse range of women, from Boudicca to Harriet Tubman. The tales are engaging, fun to read and brought to life with colourful illustrations. Each story only takes a few minutes to read, so this is a perfect book to read with your child at bedtime. You might just learn something new yourself.

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and Town


Alcoholics Anonymous....................... 0845 769 7555 Anglian Water.................................... 08457 145 145 Bedford Hospital................................. 01234 355122 Lister Hospital..................................... 01438 314333 Benefits for people with Disabilities..... 0800 882 200 Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue............. 01438 729041 Carers Line......................................... 0808 808 7777 ChildLine................................................... 0800 1111 Citizens Advice................................... 0344 245 1292 Cocaine Anonymous..................................0800 689 4732 Crimestoppers...................................... 0800 555 111

Bringing Local Business to Local People Your local full colour A5 monthly magazine delivered free of charge to 1000s of homes and businesses in your local area. The Villager and Town Life is dedicated to promoting local businesses, charities, community groups and everything else in your local area.

Cruse Bereavement Care.................... 0333 252 9152 Floodline............................................ 0845 988 1188 Frank-Drug Advisory............................ 0800 776 600 National Debt Line............................. 0808 808 4000 Gas Emergency..................................... 0800 111 999 NHS Direct................................................. 0845 4647 National Rail Enquiries.......................03457 48 49 50 Non Emergency Police Line..................................101 NSPCC................................................ 0808 800 5000 Relate...................................................0845 48 49 50 RSPCA Cruelty Line............................. 0300 1234 999 Samaritans.................................................... 116 123 Tax Credit Helpline............................. 0345 300 3900 Victim Support.....................................845 30 30 900

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Hitchin September 2018  
Hitchin September 2018