Early Spring 2012
A £50 The independent magazine for Norfolk/Suffolk border village people
Vo ucher This edition features Review of Thornham Forge Tearooms
SEAT Leon FR+
Gifts for Valentines & Mother’s Day p36-37
Swallows and Amazons Takes to the stage
Plus • Trouble Opening Attachments? • 5 Minute Interview - Dillon Prest • Review of Chain Restaurants • Gorgeous Duck Recipe • Key to Successful Investment • Book & Film Reviews
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appy New Year! I think you can still get away with saying that in early February can’t you? Now I have a suggestion for you if you’d like to keep up to date with sales and oﬀers from local businesses. Why not follow Village People on Facebook to keep up to date with good deals, oﬀers and events in your area. We start with a competition for one lucky follower to win a £50 Waitrose voucher! All you need to do is like us on this link:facebook.com/VillagePeopleMagazinesLtd and we’ll randomly select the winner at the end of March. See full details on page 14. Talking of good deals, make sure you take advantage of Larkins ‘winter warmer’ fuel oﬀer as you can get 20% extra free on kiln dried logs - but hurry as the oﬀer ends on 18th February. We just love to congratulate local independent businesses that do well, so we must mention Andy Love who at the end of last year won the Design Award for 2011 from South Norfolk Council. Well done Andy! Our Out & About pages are packed as usual with things to do and places to visit so sit back and enjoy this issue and plan some great days and evenings out.
In this issue... Home & Garden 5 9 14 17 18 19 21 23
Out & About 26/27 Mums the Word – Chain Restaurants 29 Ladies who Lunch: Thornham Forge Tearooms 30 Village Noticeboard 31 Film Review: War Horse 33 A Vet’s Voice 35 Swallows and Amazons
Shopping 36/37 Valentines & Mother’s Day Gifts from Chapelfield 38/39 Book Reviews 43 Can Colour Aﬀect Mood?
Health & Beauty 45 46
We always love to hear from our readers so do get in touch if you have ideas that you’d like us to include in a future issue. Finally, if you run a local business, or know someone who does, do get in touch and find out how easy we make it for you to get details of your business in front of 28,500 South Norfolk village homes. Advertising is simple and we have lots of experience so call for a friendly chat! I think there’s just enough space left to say hold onto your magazine until we’re back at the beginning of April.
Garden Jottings from Ken 9 Star Ki Astrology WIN £50 Waitrose Voucher Olympic Boost to Housing Market 5 Minute Interview: Dillon Prest Delicious wines for Spring Refreshing Waters Lightly Curried Gressingham Duck Recipe
Trying to Give up Smoking? Head-to-Toe Treatment for Everyone
Services 51 53 55 59 61
Key to Successful Investment Trouble Opening Attachments? Car Review: SEAT Leon FR+ DIY is for the Home. . not for Divorces The Night Bus
And lots more inside...
Lily Goulder email@example.com 0330 660 0325
Home & Garden
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Garden Jottings from Ken How about a new home? Somewhere with a stunning view, tucked away in the countryside, surrounded by trees and bushes, away from prying eyes and noisy neighbours. Maybe a nice detached timber-framed lodge, a woodland chalet, or perhaps an apartment in an exclusive terrace.
here do you start your search for such luxury accommodation? An estate agent. . . but do you really fancy all that ﬂitting about from branch to branch? Of course not, come along instead to The Garden Enclosure for a fantastic range of bird boxes to house some of your favourite feathered friends (well what did you imagine I was talking about!)
There is a genuine lack of suitable bird real estate around and, like us, they’re quite fussy about their abodes. What suits one breed may not be so desirable to another – robins, wrens and pied wagtails favour open-fronted nesting boxes, members of the tit family and nuthatches prefer to squeeze through a small hole to access their home, other birds such as sparrows are sociable characters who like to nest in colonies, so a terrace comprising three separate chambers is a highly desirable option. Location is everything, position boxes away from full sun and prevailing winds, not too close to feeding sites, and out of reach of predators (especially cats!) Mounting heights will vary – little owls and kestrels like their deep tunnel box tucked up high in a tree, while most small birds are happy at about 6 to 8 foot up. If you’re curious to see what’s going on in their home, try a camera nest box, supplied complete with a 20 meter (66 ft) cable that simply plugs straight into a TV scart socket, giving live sound and pictures day or night. Despite your best eﬀorts, some birds will prefer to build their nests in dense shrubs, trees or hedging. You can help out future generations by planting with this in mind, Viburnum tinus, forsythia, berberis, Thuja
plicata or blackthorn are all popular choices, and once established cotoneaster and pyracantha will not only oﬀer protection during the nesting season, but also provide a fantastic crop of berries in the Autumn for all those hungry breaks. Breeding and brooding takes up a lot of energy, so supplementing natural food sources with an easily accessible supply of oil/protein rich feed comprising suet, nuts and seed will help them along. Fresh water for drinking and bathing in should also be provided, try an ornamental bird bath, an extra large plant saucer or a shallow pool, and if it can be viewed discreetly it will give you an idea of the species frequenting your garden. Valentine’s Day is the start of National Nest Box Week, an annual event during which the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) promotes the message that Britain’s garden birds need help finding suitable nesting sites. We are once again supporting this event, oﬀering FSC certified nest boxes from just £3.99, plus further discounts across our entire range throughout February.
Cheers Ken The Garden Enclosure, Banham – your lo-cost food & housing provider!
Feeding garden birds need not be expensive, 20kg of standard seed mix is just £12.99, & a tub of 50 fat snax without nets only £7.99, both are BTO endorsed.
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Home & Garden
tallest trees on earth by Joan Garnham, Waveney Tree Specialists
The family Sequoia is named after a Native American Cherokee, Sequoiah, and is divided into coast and giant redwoods. They covered much of the Northern Hemisphere millions of years ago, however, redwood trees now grow only in China and two areas of California (and a small grove in Oregon). The wood has a high tannin content giving the intense red and also making the wood and bark resistant to insects and disease. The bark has a high moisture content enabling the tree to withstand forest fires. With no branches for 60% of the height, they are likened to a nail standing on its head as there is no deep tap root- the root system can be 10-13ft deep and spread 60-80 ft around. They are extremely ﬂexible and sway in the wind like they are dancing. The dramatic fat trunked giants (some have been hollowed out to drive a car through) are not normally the tallest as the tops have been blown out by high winds but are still an impressive 2000 years old.
Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are found in a 450 mile strip along California’s North Pacific coast. They can live for 2,200 years and grow to 378ft with trunk diameter of 22ft. The bark can be up to 12 inch thick. In 2006 three record breakers were found; Hyperion 378ft, Helios 376ft and Icarus 371ft. Prior to these discoveries, the tallest was Stratoshere Giant at 370ft. Sadly none of these trees can be found by the general public as too many feet would compact the roots and kill the trees. They reach their maximum height between 300-700 years. Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is found alongside the coast redwoods and doesn’t grow as tall but has a greater girth. The world’s largest living organism is the giant redwood General Sherman standing at 274.9 ft with a diameter of 36.5ft and weighing 2,105 tonnes. It is thought to be over 3,000 years old.
Home & Garden
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Home & Garden
Ancient Oriental Astrology for a Modern Life
The 9 Star Ki yearly cycle begins on February 4th 2012 and marks the beginning of spring in the Chinese calendar and also the New Year in the ancient Chinese Solar Calendar. It’s a great time to provide you with a weather report to help sail smoothly through your year ahead. If you haven’t already done so, please visit www.freeflow-fengshui.com find www.freefl ow-fengshui.com to fi nd out your STAR number and then check below for a brief forecast.
9 Fire Star This year can often reﬂect change and revolution and feel like an uphill struggle, but rest assured that it will pay oﬀ in 2013. Take care of communications outwards and inwards, don’t stagnate and take regular exercise. 8 Earth Star Well done, you’ve turned a corner and can finally relax. Look back over things and say, I did that! This is a year for socialising and taking is easy, but take care not to slacken the purse strings too much. Health wise, take care of bones and ligaments, stay ﬂexible! 7 Metal Star From last years’ changes, you find yourself now in a stronger, better position for making those important decisions if you’ve been holding back. Your renewed sense of authority may come across as overbearing so remember to listen too.
6 Metal Star This is your year for change, reinvention and re-birth. This is often a ﬂuctuating year of upsand-downs, so stay as centred and grounded as possible. Not a great year for making major decisions to move house. Allow things to come to you! 5 Earth Star The key for this year is to pace yourself. Complete projects and little jobs as you will find them stacking up very soon, as you gather momentum. You may feel unstoppable and want to take on every opportunity, just remember to take time out! 4 Wood Star Things are finally starting to shift for you now, forward movement, opportunity and an upward, progressive time ahead! Make the most of this year, a great time to start new projects and businesses. If it feels right don’t hesitate – be spontaneous.
will pay oﬀ and allow any changes to happen; go with the ﬂﬂow. ow.
2 Earth Star A deep, spiritual year ahead, a time to pay yourself some attention. It’s a year of planning and getting the ‘seed’ ready for its next cycle. Take care of your health as you may find it harder than usual to recover from illness. Keep warm and avoid too much cold food. 1 Water Star You made it to the top! Well done! – Now it’s your time to shine, show the world what you’re really about, clarity, illuminated and switched on! - The focus is on you and people may be attracted to you more than usual, just give yourself space and time alone now and again.
3 Wood Star This can often be a frustrating year, as it precedes ‘spring’ in this system. It is a time to make sure all those stepping stones are firmly planted and laid out in front of you to sprint along in 2013. Patience For more information about 9 Star Ki Astrology contact David at email@example.com • David Walters DIP. CHIRO
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t is possible that the lawnmower is the least looked-after of all our domestic machines. However, with a bit of care and attention, these should be durable machines lasting at least ten years, and if you have the right machine for your situation, it should be able to improve the condition of your lawn.
One essential part of any mower is the cutting blade. For rotary mowers there is normally one ﬂat-ish horizontal blade under the deck, which has two cutting edges. Cylinder mowers have blades attached to a turning spindle similar to a combine harvester, plus another fixed ‘bottom blade’. All these blades, and especially cylinder mower blades, ought to be fairly sharp, and now would be a good time to get these sharpened ready for the season ahead. Mowers with petrol engines should be given more thorough attention, as routine maintenance can prolong the life
of the mower and reduce the chances of a breakdown during the cutting season. When it comes to choosing the ‘right’ mower for your lawn, consider what sort of appearance you want your lawn to have, what it is going to be used for, and how much time you want to spend on your lawn. For better quality lawns, choose a model with a rear roller, which will firm the turf and give a stripe eﬀect. Models without rollers, which tend to be cheaper, can still give a reasonable looking lawn, especially if cutting is regular. Mulching mowers are becoming more popular now, as there are benefits to leaving short clippings on the lawn to decompose, returning nutrients to the soil. It’s not something to do every time you cut, so a machine where you can switch cutting modes is best. The right mower, well maintained, will reward you with a garden to be proud of.
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Home & Garden
advertising? Do you run or own a business or know someone who does? Village People is the perfect way to target potential rural customers who may not know about you! Whether you have just started trading or are a long-established company, advertising in the rural villages could make a huge diﬀerence to your revenue. Village People magazines have a combined circulation of 28,500 and an estimated readership of 71,500 in South Norfolk making us the largest A5 independent lifestyle magazine in the area. We’re brimming with pride that our magazines have generated significant new business for businesses like yours. Take a look at our website to read what they have to say
If you already advertise locally and you think you’ve got South Norfolk covered, think again! We don’t deliver in towns where there is already a lot of competition with local media; we deliver to the rural villages that no one else reaches. And what’s more, we use Royal Mail to professionally deliver every single magazine directly to doormats. Our next issue is the Late Spring edition, which will be delivered to 28,500 rural households in over 140 South villages the first week of April. With prices starting from just £19+vat per month even the smallest of businesses can afford to advertise and whatever your budget our friendly team will happily help you design an advert.
Just o n in Villa e full page a ge d generat People has ed 19 e nquirie for my s b than a usiness. Bet ny oth ter er f advertis ing I h orm of ave trie d.
delivery, From design to here to help e ar le op Pe Village t us grow so contac ail your business em or 25 03 0 66 today on 0330 eople.info and -p editor@village it is to get your sy ea w ho t find ou details in front of 28,500 ore leads local family I have had m l-setel w r u . yo es hom from e than in az ag m t ou her form from any ot I have d of advert an ess now n si bu been in years. 0 for over 2
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Like us and WIN There are always special offers and sales on from the local businesses in our area so what better way to keep bang up to date than by following Village People on Facebook?
We’ll also publicise local events for free so just email Lily and we’ll update our Facebook page with anything and everything that’s local!
And as a little incentive for you to log on and ‘like’ us, we’ve got a £50 Waitrose voucher for one lucky Liker to win!
Simply visit our fan page at
To feature your event, sale or special oﬀer on Village People’s Facebook page simply email Lily at firstname.lastname@example.org with details. We’ll randomly select one lucky Village People fan on 30th March who will win the £50 Waitrose voucher.
Home & Garden
ABS Home Improvements
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Many thank’s for the first class job your staff made of our windows and door, they were very careful and cleared up all the old windows and door as they went along.
May I take this opportunity to say what a great job your men have done.
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We are delighted and would happily recommend your services to anyone. Thank’s again for an excellent job. Mr & Mrs B - Gislingham
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Home & Garden
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By Steve Palmer of Palmer’s Country Homes
As the 2012 London Olympic Games draws closer the number of people moving away from the capital seeking a better quality of life is set to increase, with Suffolk and South Norfolk being some of the main beneficiaries.
hilst the rest of the country awaits the games with great excitement, those living in or around the capital are less enthusiastic about the eﬀect they will have on their day to day lives and many are looking to sell up and move to the Country. With the housing market generally remaining poor this will be seen as a welcome boost for both the local housing market and rural economy.
Mid Suﬀolk has in recent years been voted the second best local authority district to live in the UK, and would seem an ideal destination for those moving out. There is plenty of evidence to show that this is happening, with some Agents reporting that as many as 50% of sales and enquiries are from outside the area. It is easy to see the attraction to the many market towns and villages in the area which provide excellent shopping, educational and health facilities as well as good transport links to the capital. The almost hidden treasures of Eye and its surrounding villages is a classic example, oﬀering an oﬀering academy status school with an outstanding Ofsted report, excellent health
and sports facilities and good independent shops and pubs as well as regular bus and railway services to Ipswich and Diss. Not only that, but it is also within an hour’s drive from the Suﬀolk Heritage Coast. The increase in the number of people moving into the area will doubtless be seen as a mixed blessingwhilst many would like us to keep the area to ourselves, many of those moving in will bring good incomes with them which can only be of benefit to the local economy.
Home & Garden
5 Minute Interview Dillon Prest manages Swallow Aquatics site at East
Harling. He’s worked at the site since 1993. Originally from North Yorkshire, Dillon now lives in South Lopham. What’s your idea of perfect happiness in south Norfolk?
Sundays- like a free zoo!
Taking my three dogs out for a long walk through Knettishal Heath, on a bright sunny day, can’t beat it.
How many hours do you work each week?
If you weren’t talking to us now, what would you be doing?
I work 40 hours a week officially, but often do a few more… unfortunately when you work with animals you’re often on call 24/7
Probably working... Lol! I’d like to think I’d be sitting in a nice village pub having a pub lunch and a nice pint of beer. How would you spend your day in the country? Again a nice long walk with the dogs, through local woods or the Heath with a spot of lunch in a nice country pub…better if it were with a few good friends. What’s the best thing about living in a village? I think its two things really; the quiet more laid back life style and the friendliness of the local communities. People seem to have more time for each other in rural localities. In moments of weakness. . . Probably head for a good bit of retail therapy, find a nice town like Bury St Edmunds.
If money was no object I’d travel to South America again and trek the Amazon… I was lucky enough to go to Brazil in 2001 with Swallow Aquatics, we travelled from Manaus along the Rio Negro and the Rio Branco to Barcellos; a village right in the heart of the Amazon. The people there made their living sustainably collecting fish for the European and American pet trade. They protected the rain forest environment from deforestation to maintain their livelihoods. So many other species benefited from it, from freshwater dolphins, caiman crocodiles, parrots, monkeys, turtles, frogs and many more. It was amazing to see… I would love to go back and see how and if things have changed. I would also love to visit the Galapagos Islands.
Red or White?
What keeps you awake at night?
Usually work, more often than not it’s ‘have I made the right decision about something’ or ‘have I left a tap on?’ I have had to get up and go into work on many occasions to see if I’ve left a tap running or forgotten to turn a filter back on! Usually I haven’t, mind you.
What’s your favourite word? It changes frequently, but currently it’s Random…not sure why, but I like it! What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Chocolate!
You could talk for hours about?
Age you feel inside?
Animals…pets and wild ones, you could say it was an obsession of mine.
21, but unfortunately I’m 40.
Where would you most like to be right now?
Last saintly deed?
I suppose where I am really, as it’s a very cool place to be.
Visited a very special friend two weeks before she passed on… was very good to have a giggle with her and make her smile, we were good friends. High point of your week? Getting all the job’s done on time and catching up with friends. Two things we should know about Swallow Aquatics? It’s got a very dedicated team of hard working people who’ll always have the time to help out and give advice to people about their pets. It’s a great place to visit with the kids on a weekend open 9am till 6pm every day including Saturdays and
If you had a year oﬀ you would....
If you’re a local business person and would like to feature in Village People’s 5 Minute Interview, contact Lily on 0330 660 0325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wines for Spring
With the miserable weather outside, we really need some warming, uplifting wines when we’re holed up inside keeping as snug as possible.
Sparkling Red Sparkling Wines
While much of this time of year doesn’t scream out for sparkling wine, sometimes we need to create a celebration to lift the mood. Why not have some fizz when you get to Friday night, or when it’s a sunny day, or how about for Valentine’s day? I think an easy-drinking pink fizz such as Cantina Beato Bartolomeo Silvola Rosato Spumante, £10.75 per bottle, provides a great reason to snap momentarily out of the winter gloom.
If you, like us, are reaching for the slow cooker to make some lovely winter stews, you’ll want a delicious, robust, inexpensive red to glug on (and great to cook with) Centelleo Tempranillo, £5.75 a bottle, is great for this. At The Perfect Wine we’ll only ever cook with wines we would happily have a glass of, and this fits the bill.
We have all got used to serving our white wines straight from the fridge, which can feel a bit counterintuitive when it’s cold and dark outside, so why not try a white that tastes great at room temperature? Vina Ventureira Albarino (£12.25 a bottle) is just such a wine. Great with food and great on its own – why not get a bottle of it for your mum for Mother’s Day?
If, however, you want to make the most of the seasonal game, I would suggest a robust Spanish or Italian red. How about trying Clos Montblanc Xipella Negre, £10.00 per bottle – a smooth, spicy, warm red wine with enough body to stand up to venison or hare.
All of the featured wines are available from www.theperfectwine.co.uk, but equivalents can be found in all good wine shops. www.theperfectwine.co.uk • Tel.01508 486000 email@example.com
Home & Garden
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REFRESHING WATERS Divine encounters, miracle healings, enormous courage and heart-felt sacrifice
Norfolk journalist, Sandie Shirley, spotlights the inspiring stories of men and women from the region and beyond that have seen them reach for victory. For more stories visit: www.refreshingwaters.co.uk
Ex-hooligan makes pact with God Violence, intrigue and danger gripped Carl Clark’s life in his quest for his next adrenalin fix. It took him to European football terraces, hard-wired political demonstrations and later, as an undercover source for Special Branch. Now the man whose life was shattered as a little boy when his father left home, is pulling a diﬀerent set of punches for his Saviour having ditched the fast-paced exploits, drugs and the occult for the real ‘fix’ of his life – Jesus. With a new heart for social justice and reform his former intelligence connections have led him to European Congress to meet ambassadors, generals and other foreign dignitaries to advise on military issues, firearms and terrorism. Now, as a pastoral outreach worker in Thetford, Norfolk, he is bringing hope and purpose to hundreds of youngsters, while founding a successful award-winning community scheme and speaking up for those without a voice as a district and town councillor. “Five years ago I was homeless and living in the woods after a broken marriage and no job but I was still smiling and optimistic knowing God was by my side,” says Carl. “Today Jesus has restored the past with new freedom and vitality and he can do that for anyone since there are always second, third and fourth chances with him. I now have the perfect job, a wonderful wife, great friends and a great future – anything is possible with God.” Carl’s life was scarred at the tender age of eight when his father left the family home and his mother had a succession of boyfriends. The security he craved from a doting father was never underpinned and he became a loner who was bullied at school.
rk’s Carl Cla
He took vengeance on the bullies when he took up martial arts but he also used his combat tactics at National Front and Irish Terrorist Loyalist Group demonstrations and they landed him in gaol as a football hooligan. Disillusioned with the hard-line political scene he worked under-cover for Israeli Intelligence, thriving amid the intrigue and danger until he was caught up in a bloody anti-Nazi movement. “I suﬀered a broken back and was unable to walk after being savagely beaten. I was taking painkillers for 18 months and could not work for 13 years,” recalls Carl. Despite the injuries he was contacted by Special Branch while continuing to blow the whistle on racism, football and Irish terror groups. Carl was operating in a deepening political arena that halted violence and armed robberies but it took its toll when he was ‘set-up’ with an enormous cache of drugs in the boot of his car and he later took an overdose. His path to destruction ended when he made a pact with God while attending a Christian youth event on the promise of free meals when he worked as a steward. “Torrential rain ﬂooded the camp and 1500 youngsters were evacuated from the site but their spirits were not dampened,” says Carl. “They were singing at nine at night; I could not get over their happiness and peace. The amphetamines I had taken for eight years had not given me that sort of happiness,” said Carl who immediately ditched them without withdrawal symptoms.
Home & Garden
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LIGHTLY CURRIED GRESSINGHAM DUCK BREAST WITH MANGO MAYONNAISE
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DUCK
2 Gressingham Duck breasts 1 large onion, roughly chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger 2 lemon grass stalks Juice of 1 fresh lemon ½ tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp garam masala 275 ml (10fl oz) coconut milk 1 tbsp full-fat yoghurt 2 large red chillies, seeded and finely chopped A small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped METHOD Carefully remove the skin from the duck breasts and cut each breast into three, placing them in a large bowl. Place the remaining ingredients for the duck in a liquidiser and blitz thoroughly (stopping the liquidiser once or twice to push the contents down, ensuring everything gets liquidised). Taste and
INGREDIENTS FOR THE MAY ONNAISE 1 small jar of mayonnaise 1 tbsp mango chutney Salt and pepper
season. Pour the mixture over the strips of duck breast and mix carefully. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate, preferably overnight. When you are ready to cook the duck, pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Remove the strips of duck from the bowl and place in a roasting tin. Any excess curry sauce can be kept covered in a fridge for two weeks. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning the strips fairly frequently to ensure they are cooked through. To make the mango mayonnaise, place 4 tbsp mayonnaise into a bowl, folding the mango chutney into the mixture. Season to taste. Serve the duck hot or cold with the mango mayonnaise, salad or rice.
You’ll find more inspiring recipes and video tutorials on the Gressingham website www.gressinghamfoods.co.uk You can also buy many of our delicious products on-line. 23
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Mum’s the word Carrie Barrett lives in Blo Norton, near Diss, right on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, with her husband and two children Maisie (8) and Olly (4). She has been dining out and about in our area for many years, seeking out restaurants that offer great value, quality and above all else are child friendly. If you would like Carrie to visit a particular pub or restaurant just get in touch with us at village people and we’ll ask her to visit.
and also will not tolerate second rate food just because their child receives a free toy! A whole new generation of chain restaurants are starting to emerge and the London trends are fast making their way to Norfolk & Suﬀolk!
Chain Restaurants I hear you all say?? I know, I know! Shock horror that I could go against everything I have previously written for the last year, after all my recommendations for local independent establishments! However, in my defence there are times when you are in a shopping centre or Retail Park and the kids are crying out to be fed and the only immediate choices are chain restaurants.
After a few recent weekends away in London, we were bombarded with new chain restaurants opening up around the city, promising fresh and quality ingredients cooked on demand and I believe it’s only a matter of time until we start to see them pop up in our towns and City here.
I think that the restaurant industry have started to wake up to the fact that diners are more savvy than ever
www.carluccios.com Bury St Edmunds 01284 725505 Norwich 01603 622685 As with most of the chains emerging now, this one started in the early 1990’s in London Covent Garden. It now boasts over 50 restaurants nationwide and growing each year despite the recession. The company have hit upon a successful and simple strategy. Their aim has always been to provide ‘quality, authentic Italian food at sensible prices’. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is very contemporary, clean and fresh. You can see the chefs busy at work and the delicious food that is being constantly and consistently prepared. The children’s menu is designed to encourage children to be creative and feel grown up, and be able to sit through three courses like their parents. To start there is crissini and a soft drink of their choice. For main course there is the option of making your own pasta dish by choosing from a selection of pasta and sauces, there is also Ravioli, chicken in breadcrumbs and lasagne to choose from, with traditional Italian gelato for dessert, all £6.50 per child. I love the atmosphere in this restaurant and the shop at the front, with its handmade tarts and desserts are an ingenious way of tempting in hungry customers!
So this edition, I have chosen the three places that my children love the best when we do pop into Chapelfields or Bury St Edmunds and we haven’t got too much time to leave the main shopping areas. I often pop in here whilst shopping with friends just for a glass of wine and a cheese board to nibble on whilst discussing our success in the sales!
www.wagamama.com Norwich 01603 305985 This chain restaurant has a very similar story to Carluccio’s. It began just a year later in the Bloomsbury area of London and has now grown and become a very well known brand throughout the UK and the world. We have been coming to Wagamama’s ever since it opened just outside Chapelfield in Norwich. My daughter was very young at the time but their children’s menu was a real winner and something diﬀerent than any other place at the time. I subscribe fully to the Wagamama ethos that ‘positive eating promotes healthy attitudes and choices’ and my children just find the choice the hardest decision to make when eating here! There is as much thought and eﬀort that goes into designing the children’s dishes as with the adults. The ﬂavours and quality of the food is incredible. My daughters favourite here is Mini Chicken Katsu, chicken breast grilled or deep fried in panko breadcrumbs served with sticky rice and carrot, cucumber and sweetcorn, served with a choice of either katsu curry or a mild dipping sauce.
Chain Reaction! –
The best chain restaurants in our area. My son prefers Grilled Fish Noodle, noodles with grilled dory, carrot, sweetcorn, cucumber and a mild dipping sauce. There are many diﬀ diﬀerent erent children’s menu’s to choose from, certainly something for every child, but I think the important factor here is they are encouraging children to try something diverse and there are no French fries to be seen! The menu choices vary in price from approx. £5.50 to £6.50. The atmosphere is great for children as it’s a noisy, bustling place and doesn’t matter if your child is chatting loudly or drops a spoon! There are also fantastic baby seats that screw onto the tables securely, enabling your baby or toddler to sit right at the table like the rest of the family.
opened in London and it grew from there. Now a very successful chain with hundreds of restaurants all around the UK, it still remains a great family restaurant using fresh, quality ingredients with the added novelty of being able to watch the chefs make the pizzas from scratch. The children’s menu is great value and similar to Carluccio’s, children feel very grown up as they are able to munch through each course with their parent including a bambinocinno at the end of the meal!! The menu is £6.45 and includes a drink, a starter of dough balls with a side salad of tomatoes, peppers and cucumber, children can choose between pizza or pasta as a main course, and five diﬀerent types of dessert accompanied by a treat, and a bambinoccino (frothed warm milk sprinkled with chocolate). Fantastic value and in my opinion, some of the most delicious pizza’s available from any chain restaurant around.
www.pizzaexpress.com Ipswich, Norwich & Bury St Edmunds These guys have been in business far longer than many of the chain restaurants today. In 1965 the fifirst rst ever Pizza Express was
ANTIQUE & COLLECTORS FAIR BRECKLAND LEISURE CENTRE, CROXTON ROAD, THETFORD,
NORFOLK IP24 1JD
SUNDAY 4TH MARCH 2012
ADMISSION Adults - £2 Children under 16 (accompanied) FREE Early trade admission 8am - £3 NORFOLK FAIRS email@example.com www.norfolkfairs.com
Up to 120 Stalls in a large spacious well lit hall Ample Free Parking Excellent Facilities Cafe NATIONWIDE ADVERTISING
Further dates for 2012
Sunday 20th May Sunday 8th July Sunday 19th August Sunday 30th September Sunday 25th November Sunday 30th December
MILITARIA FAIR on EASTER SUNDAY 8TH APRIL
Out & About
Valentines Day Set Menu 3 Courses £17.95 Special Offer on Rose Bubbly £13.95 per bottle Fri 10th to Tues 14th Feb
Mothering Sunday 18 March 3 Course Sunday Roast Menu £15.95
Please Book on 01379 740638
Open all day everyday to residents & non residents Dinner dances, Weddings, Birthdays/Anniversaries All parties catered for Food served all day every day Sunday Carvery served 12.00-3.00pm Regular live music & themed nights
Tel. 01379 642244
www.parkhotel-diss.co.uk • firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Roast 1 course £5.95 2 courses £7.50 Over 60s Lunch 1st & 3rd Monday of each month 2 courses £6.95 3 courses £8.95
Fish & Chip Night 1st Thursday of each month 6pm to 8pm
Delicious Traditional Home-made Food
Also open evenings – bookings only
Ladies who lunch The Forge Tearooms at Thornham
01379 783035 email@example.com
Open seven days a week, all year: April to Sept 10am to 5pm, October to March 10am to 4pm.
n one sense this place is slightly oﬀ the beaten track: in another sense it’s right on it.
The Forge is only about a mile or so away from the busy A140 near Eye; mid way between Ipswich and Norwich. Very pleasantly situated at the start (or end depending on your appetite) of 12 miles of waymarked path through varied habitats of woods, parkland and farmland. Would I go again? Well, I already have: just for coﬀee on a hot day when I sat outside on the bright red twin-seat and ate a delicious portion of baked raspberry cheesecake from a selection of tempting desserts. But that’s another story.
On a bleak cold December day, we made straight for the warmth of The Forge, although – it being school holidays - several families were enjoying the fresh air in the new play area. It is called a tearoom / café but I have enjoyed many three-course meals at The Forge in the past; including a fabulous roast lamb Sunday lunch. This time I went midweek and took a friend for their ﬁrst visit. The café is on two levels separated by a couple of steps; disabled visitors would easily be able to access the lower part where there is a grand view of the outside and a chance to watch the birds and squirrels. The upper part is where “the forge” is; it’s an original brick-built blacksmiths’ forge and most ﬁre going, providing days there is a cheery wood ﬁre welcome warmth and the sweet smell of burning wood. Our booked table was ready and nicely laid with white linen tablecloth and blue over-cloth; all
Main course, pudding, wine and coﬀee for two: Total £32.65
was neat and welcoming. We had checked in at the desk and ordered coﬀee straight away to warm us up and very soon two large cups of ﬁlter coﬀee with real milk were brought by an extremely pleasant lady who took our order for lunch. There is a standard menu for sandwiches, jacket potatoes and other light meals with a special children’s section, which is nice to see. We had consulted the specials board, which oﬀered more substantial meals; I chose spinach and ricotta cannelloni with salad and my friend chose tuna and mascarpone ﬁsh cakes with salad and new potatoes- plus a glass of wine each. Service was quick and eﬃcient and we both remarked on the generous size of the portions and lack of pretension about the meal – none of your palm trees made out of cucumber here! Also the food was homemade and nicely hot, apart from the salad of course. There was a choice of puddings, including apple pie, cherry cheesecake (which my friend had) and jam sponge for me, with a choice of cream, custard or ice cream. Again these were generous and my sponge was really hot, so I was glad of the delicious ice cream to cool it. Next to our table there was a more relaxed seating area of four armchairs around a coﬀee table for people who just wanted coﬀee or a quick snack and a look at one of the newspapers provided. I really like this place and will return; probably in the spring sunshine when walking to the walled gardena more exciting prospect. It is altogether cosy and I suspect many of the clientele are regular visitors; young families with a couple of children enjoying the space and freedom of the estate. I spotted a bright, clean baby high-chair for visitors’ use.
The only tiny negative thing was the toilets: these are available in an adjoining rural craft shop and are convenient for the café but are a little basic and you might ﬁnd fallen leaves on the ﬂoor. Nicer ones are available in the activities centre a few hundred yards away. The craft shop stocks cards, games, jewellery and other colourful gift items; well worth a browse.
Village Notice Board THE MILL CAFÉ 5th March 2012 2nd April 2012
10am to 2pm Hempnall Mill Centre, Mill Road, Hempnall. NR15 2LP www.hempnalltrust.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1074433 01508 499061
FRIENDS OF SHELTON SCHOOL QUIZ AND CHIP NIG HT Saturday 25th Fe bruary 2012 7.30pm - 11pm at Hardwick Villag e Hall
Teams of 4 (numb
ers may be nego tiable) £8 per person which includes a chip supper
There will be a
Please call 078053
60388 for entry for
Norfolk Fa irs BRECKLA ND LEISU RE CENTR E, THETFOR D ANTIQUE AND COLL ECTORS FA IR SUNDAY 4TH MAR CH MILITARIA FAIR EASTER SU NDAY 8T H APR
Red Feather Club
Day y: Grand Open Sunday 13th Ma . m) (10am-5p ns at normal attractio In addition to the litary mi be ll wi re the Club the Red Feather er oth m fro stands, exhibits vehicles, trade t stand. en hm res ref a s and aviation societie Admission £1
All proceeds to Fr iend Shelton School Ch s of arity
BOOK SALE & TIBENHAM
ION ART EXHIBIT
am - 4pm th February 10 25 Y A D R U T SA - 4pm February 10am SUNDAY 26th e bl ments Availa Light Refresh
OUSLY ION OF PREVIV HUGE SELECT S, CDS AND DVDS OWNED BOOK oks etc. can
ed. Bo much welcom am) Donations very Street, Tibenh he (T s on ilt Ra at h rc po een in tw be left Friday 24th be munity Hall on m Co e th at or . 10 am and 2 pm lie to arrange e Carole or Ju Please telephon 677190
List your local event for FREE on our Village Notice Board Email details to Lily at firstname.lastname@example.org 30
list evenytour !
War Horse: epic adventure or Disney replica? Running time: 146 mins Director: Steven Spielberg Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan
hether you see it as a heart-warming adventure or a nauseous Disney style rendition by a ‘miracle animal’, there can be no doubt that the tale of War Horse is causing a storm in the UK. With the West End show packing theatres night after night, and the film adaptation causing divisions amongst critics, author Michael Morpurgo’s story in it’s new formats is one of the most talked about cultural contributions of 2012 so far. It follows the perspective of a horse named Joey, and his life during the Great War, with the horse as the central character. At the outbreak of the first World War, farmer’s son Albert (Jeremy Irvine) is left helpless when his beloved horse Joey is commandeered by cavalry troops. Captain Nichols (Tom Hiddleston) promises to return him, but fate intervenes, leaving Joey facing death and toil at every corner. Embarking on an impressive journey across Europe, Joey works under a number of masters, from British oﬃcers to German soldiers, whilst his old master Albert begins a dangerous quest to find him.
Directed by Stephen Spielberg, the latest adaptation of this famous children’s bestseller launched in many cinemas in January, with the cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson and David Thewlis. It has already caused a sensation amongst critics, with its supporters whispering about an Oscar nomination in recognition of its glorious cinematic sweeps across the English countryside, and hair raising battle scenes. Not everyone has reacted so positively however, as for some the two main themes of the film do not sit well together; sobering battle scenes are interspersed with scenes in which the horse ‘volunteers’ to pull a cart- displaying Disney style personification alongside scenes which could rival those in war film greats such as Saving Private Ryan. Reviewers have also hit upon the short introduction of a number of characters, with six characters being touched upon in the horse’s life. The constraints in the storyline mean that we visit each human character somewhat brieﬂy, as the horse is the central storyteller, which may leave some viewers struggling to identify with the characters presented to them. Despite these nitpicky complaints, War Horse in it’s new film format looks set to rival it’s West End competition, causing a stir amongst critics and viewers alike. Whether you end up loving or hating this heartfelt tale of a horse’s life, you cannot fail to be touched by the storyline in a number of places, with Spielberg successfully creating 2012’s fifirst rst ‘must see fifilm’ lm’.
Out & About
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A Vet’s Voice F
or many people, New Year resolutions bring diet shake dinners and expensive gym membership with all the best intentions to shape up for the New Year. Most people know how to live a healthy lifestyle; the diﬃculty comes in willpower (or lack of it!). Almost 50% of pets are also overweight, however they are not controlled by willpower, we as owners control everything from their meal content and portion size to the length and quality of exercise they receive. People have slimming clubs to help them with control and correct nutrition- at Linden House Veterinary Centre in Diss, we’ll oﬀer the same for your pets!
Why and when might weight be a problem? As with people, obesity can be associated with many health issues including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and can shorten a pet’s lifespan considerably Obesity is also likely to aﬀect quality of life due to inactivity and discomfort
spotted early and if necessary adjustments to feeding and exercise can be made. All pets are free to come and be weight checked during the day at any time at Linden House Veterinary Centre. By making routine visits to the vets, you can also help improve compliance when needed for treatment through gradually making them feel comfortable in the environment. During free weight clinics we can oﬀer you practical advice on ways to maintain a healthy weight appropriate for your pet through feeding, exercise and close monitoring. Diet feeds are also available which can help your pet feel full and lose weight in a safe, controlled way. We want to help you make sure your pet defies the odds. With help and advice from us, plus a little daily eﬀort, your pets can enjoy a bouncier, healthier life for longer!
Weight gain might not always be easily apparent when you see your pet daily. Bring your pet for a weight check up with one of our nurses when they … Seem to slow down/become more lethargic during and after exercise Show discomfort or diﬃculty in walking/movement Appear to have shortness of breath If you notice their collar is fitting more tightly or harnesses need loosening After they have been neutered it is advisable to monitor potential weight gain due to changes in metabolism Even if your pet’s weight is perfect, it’s a good idea to monitor it regularly so that any changes can be
Out & About
BOX OFFICE: (01603) 63 00 00
Wed 1 - Sat 4 Feb MOSCOW CITY BALLET £6.50 - £29.50 Sun 5 - Tues 7 Feb UKRAINIAN NATIONAL OPERA £6.50 - £36.50 Thur 9 Feb SCIENCE MUSEUM LIVE £5.50 - £14 Fri 10 Feb PAUL CARRACK £6.50 - £27.50 Sat 11 Feb SUGGS £5.50 - £19.50
Swallows and Amazons
Sun 12 Feb THE KINGS OF SWING £5.50 - £18.50 Tues 14 - Wed 15 Feb RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY £5.50 - £18.50 Thur 16 Feb ELKIE BROOKS £5.50 - £22.50 Fri 17 Feb THE CHUCKLE BROTHERS £5.50 - £14 Sat 18 - Sun 19 Feb JETHRO £5.50 - £18.50 Mon 20 - Fri 24 Feb HORRIBLE HISTORIES £5.50 - £15.50
Sat 25 Feb BRITTEN SINFONIA £6.50 - £26 Sun 26 Feb RUMOURS OF FLEETWOOD MAC £5.50 - £22.50 Tues 28 Feb - Sat 10 Mar LEGALLY BLONDE £6.50 - £42.50 Sun 11 Mar STEWART LEE £5.50 - £19.50 Mon 12 Mar THE DUBLINERS £5.50 - £22.50 Tues 13 - Sat 17 Mar SWALLOWS & AMAZONS £5.50 - £16.50 Sun 18 Mar NORFOLK SCHOOLS PROJECT Free Wed 21 Mar CHARLIE LANDSBOROUGH £5.50 - £18.50 Thurs 22 - Fri 23 Mar THE OSMONDS £6.50 - £29.50 Sat 24 Mar THE HOLLIES £5.50 - £25 Tues 27 - Sat 31 Mar Matthew Bourne's NUTCRACKER! £6.50 - £36.50
Book online: www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk THEATRE STREET, NORWICH NR2 1RL
Arthur Ransome’s popular tale ‘Swallows and Amazons’ is taking to the stage next month, bought to East Anglia by the Children’s Touring Partnership- the team responsible for the award winning production of ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’.
he story, which has delighted generations of young children, is the next great production at the Norwich Theatre Royal.
The first book in a popular series of twelve, the tale of Swallows and Amazons brings back memories of a much more innocent time, with Arthur Ransome’s uncanny knack of capturing the wonder and excitement of exploring new things. Now an action-packed musical adventure, the production is set to run from March 13-17. We caught up with the creative team and cast to find out more. Director Tom Morris, best known for the hugely popular War Horse, had no original plan to turn the story into a musical, forming the idea following discussions with Neil Hannon, who is best known for his work with band The Divine Comedy. Tom recalled: “There’s not a reason why we do – or don’t do – a show. It is a mixture of luck, opportunism and unpredictable bursts of imagination. I was having conversations with Neil about diﬀerent things he might like to turn into a musical.” One day, Neil came up with the idea of a musical version of Swallows and Amazons which got a cautious welcome, “I said: Don’t be so silly it is a stupid idea” recalled Tom. Neil, however, was passionate about the concept: “I bought Swallows and Amazons to read for my daughter. She was a bit young for it so I just read it and halfway through, a light bulb ﬂashed”, he said.
imaginative worlds for themselves and each other –and get lost in them.” “That sort of play is incredibly important to all of us… when anyone sees a child disappear under a table and turn it into a den or a house or a pirate ship, a bit of all of us wants to join in.” That idea of recapturing the inner child has been harnessed by Akiya Henry and fellow cast members. Akiya plays Titty, one of the four Walker children at the centre of the story. “Titty is definitely the most intellectual. She loves to read and what I suppose you would call a geek these days,” she said. Akiya has noticed the nostalgia of heading back to childhood among the cast – and the wonder among audiences who saw the production on a previous run for Bristol Old Vic theatre. “This production allows adults to become children again. There is a piece of wood that will become a boat and everyone believes it is a boat. This production allows the child within you to go on this journey and once again become the child,” she said. So get ready to head back in time and enjoy a nostalgic tale of times when young people relied on their imagination for adventure set in an era when children thought of blackberries as fruit rather than a hi-tech gadget.
The pair collaborated with Helen Edmundson, who penned the National Theatre’s astonishing Coram Boy. Gradually, the musical took shape after a process of writing and workshops. Neil said: “For some areas where we wanted songs, I must have written three or four separate original songs one after the other until I got the right one.”
For more info or to BOOK ONLINE www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
It was a project that ignited creative passions in all three involved. Director Tom said: “In the 1920s, there was a wonderful spirit of play. What the book and the adaptation captured is the way children make stuﬀ up and the way they capture
March 13th 2012 to March 17th 2012 Tickets £5.50-£16.50
Box Offi Office ce 01603 630000
With February being the month of love and March being the month for Mums, you’ll find that little something special for a very special someone at the fantastic selection of stores in Chapelfield, Norwich.
1. Escada Especially eau de parfum 50ml £44.50, House of Fraser
2. Silver charm 3. Portland with 14ct gold & clutch bag £50, rhodolite & pink Monsoon cubic zirconia £235, Pandora
9. Ladies square 10. Sahara mirror compact silk scarf £35, £17.99, H Samuel Monsoon
11. I love bubble bath & shower crème £2.05 each, Superdrug
4. Juliana pink 5. The Sleekster perfume bottle ALL About MUM £14.99, H Samuel selection £22, Hotel Chocolat
6. Silver heart pendant with pink cubic zirconia £65, Pandora
12. Stamp 13. Gold Orange 14. Mud Therapy Collection heart earrings face mask £2.59, ‘Sent with Love’ £3, River Island Superdrug mug £10, House of Fraser
7. Safin duffle bag £90, Monsoon
8. Mary Greenwell Plum Boudoir gift set £75, House of Fraser
15. Optimum skin care range from £9.99, Superdrug
16. Heart tin with lemon truffles £5.50, Hotel Chocolat
All items featured subject to availability, prices correct at time of going to press but may vary.
Have a field day
Whilst you’re out shopping don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day Sunday 18 March
Shop | Meet | Dine | Enjoy www.chapelfield.co.uk
Book reviews Poster to Poster Vol. 4
The National Railway Museum at York houses Britain’s unique collection of railway posters. This fourth volume in the series uses our National Collection to take a journey around the Eastern Counties of England using many previously unseen images. The result is a stunning artistic guide to both the “ﬂatlands of England” and its railway poster heritage, with an essay on the role they played in the region’s development.
Richard Furness JDF & Assoc. Ltd. Hardback 9780956209238 £25 (£10 oﬀ )
Wild open landscapes, remote marshes, seamless sea and sky vistas and a vulnerable wilderness like no other in England – the North Norfolk Coast is an artist’s dream. Artist Rachel Lockwood takes you on her journeys around her home in Cley next the Sea in search of her perfect painting locations. Through her diaries she explains how she creates some of her work and we are also privy to the events and moods that heavily inﬂuence her paintings.
North Norfolk, A Painted Landscape
Red Hare Publishing Hardback 9780956997609 £25
Norwich Murders & Misdemeanours Frank Meeres
Amberley Paperback 9781848684577 £6.49 (half-price)
Norwich has its dark past, from the mysterious death of “Saint William” to notorious Victorian crimes such as the “dismembered body” case, the Hospital child murders and the famous “The Murderers” public house crime. This book sets these cases into their social and historical background, discussing causes of crime from passion to poverty. It throws new light on the city’s criminal justice system, examining related themes such as the roles of women as criminals and victims and the problems faced by soldiers returning home.
Roy Futter from Jarrold Book Department takes us on a journey of interesting and local books
After an awe-inspiring renovation of a rundown ancient house, the word quickly spreads about the new hotel and their books are full to overﬂowing. Anecdotes abound of the dreaded hotel inspector and eye-popping “Guests from Hell” that will have you gasping at their blatant audacity. This dramatic new life as budding hoteliers for two uber-stylish hosts and their urbane, hippy dog Barnaby Boo is highly entertaining and very funny. A sequel beckons.
Robert Greenfield Greenfield Vanguard Press Paperback 9781843869177 £9.99
With his searing pace and startling unpredictability, Darren Huckerby thrilled supporters and struck fear into opposition full-backs throughout a career in which he witnessed the entire spectrum of football’s ups and downs. He experienced both the elation of promotion and the crushing disappointment of relegation at Norwich and Manchester City. At Coventry he forged a successful partnership with Dion Dublin which upset the odds against many big clubs. A revealing insight into one of City’s best-loved players.
Paradise and Beyond Chris Sutton
Black and White Publishing Hardback 9781845023492
Darren Huckerby Wensum Publishing Hardback 9780956967404 £18.99
Chris opens his heart on his incredible life story and lifts the lid on the battles he fought on and oﬀ the pitch in a controversial and successful career. This candid account also has exclusive no-holds-barred interviews from the managers he played under. Paranoid, sublime, manic and inﬂuential were all words used by them to sum up Sutton. Oﬀ the pitch, he opens up on the traumatic experience of watching his baby son James fighting for his life and reveals the trauma of his own cancer scare.
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Gangans Gifts, Botesdale Je t’aime
Birthday, Valentine or Mother’s Day when you say ‘I Love You’ - say it in style with a gift from our unusual range of craft, gift and garden items. We go the extra mile to provide something a little different why don’t you ? At our prices it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to show someone they are special !
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 - 4.00 Telephone 01379897234 Hilltop, Botesdale IP22 1BX
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
01379 640070 Sawmills Road, Diss
Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm Saturday 9am - 4pm Sunday 10am - 4pm
WYMONDHAM’S LOCAL FURNISHING Jarrolds can offer expert advice on all aspects of home furnishing and are very proud to have been part of the historic town of Wymondham since 1988
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Can colour affect mood? Deneice Arthurton looks into how colours affect our everyday life, and why green could be the best colour for the office.
olour is all around us. Present at every minute of every day, colours contribute to existence through speech as well as perception, contributing to description as well as our surroundings. But can colour aﬀect our moods? Ongoing studies to strongly suggest that there is a definite relationship between our everyday emotions, and the colours that surround us. Things such as a person’s environment, culture and upbringing can condition us to associate diﬀerent colours with particular things. For example, purple may bring to mind royalty or wealth; red we associate with danger or as a warning; pink is the colour of love and romance, whilst white can mean purity and cleanliness. Colour psychologists believe that along with factors such as conditioning and personality type, the fundamental physical perceptions of light and the way it is processed by the brain aﬀects a person’s response to colour. Whilst the physical side is universal to all humans, psychologists believe that when added to personal perceptions it may explain the common reactions people have to colour, and why some people respond diﬀerently. So, what colours mean what? Red – we naturally associate this colour with anger as shown with the phrase ‘seeing red’. It is the colour to denote danger, war and ironically, love. Red can increase our heart rate and therefore increase our body temperature. Often used in advertising, the colour red enhances memory recall and heightens our attention to detail. However, be wary; as red can heighten aggression it is best to avoid when needing to negotiate. Pink – a tranquilizing and calm inducing colour, pink has been used in police cells and prisons of the past. However, further studies have shown that pink only works this way on our initial perception of it and over time can actually have the opposite eﬀect. Blue – on the opposite side of the colour wheel to red, blue often has the opposite eﬀect, and can lower the pulse rate and the body temperature. Blue has also been shown to promote creativity, and stimulates the body to release calming chemicals. One interesting study shows that weight-lifters performing in a blue room consistently lifted greater weights than in other coloured rooms.
Green– Green in speech often holds negative connotations, for instance the phrase ‘green with envy’ and the use of green to describe some-one naïve. Thought to relieve stress and lower the heart rate, green is traditionally used as a colour in rooms where actors and performers wait before going on-stage – hence ‘green room’. Research has found that green can enhance a person’s reading ability and word comprehension, showing increased speed and heightened understanding when a green sheet was placed over reading material. As green can increase concentration and attentiveness it is sometimes used in schools. Yellow – many people associate this colour with cheerfulness and happy moods yellow has thus been recommended for people suﬀering with depression. However, studies have shown that yellow can trigger frustration and irritation. Babies cry more often and tempers are lost more often in rooms painted yellow, more so than any other colour. Yellow is the most diﬃcult colour for the eye to absorb but it is this very fact that makes it a good colour for enhanced concentration especially when used in less overpowering shades. Yellow can stimulate the intellect and improve attentiveness and increase the body’s metabolic rate.
Deneice Arthurton, Freelance Writer for Hire: Content, Articles and Website Creative Marketing. Email: email@example.com
Health & Beauty
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The Doctors Laser Clinic, Upstairs at The Swan Lane Surgery, Long Stratton NR15 2UY • 0800 907 8578
Q&A health Q
I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to give up smoking and would appreciate any advice you can give.
Trish Stephenson from the Natural Food Store, Exchange Street, Norwich says:
Congratulations! Tobacco smoke is incredibly damaging to your health, containing over 4000 chemicals per cigarette and causing 22% of male and 11% of female deaths.
The first step to giving up is understanding the nature of your addiction – a concept that many smokers find hard. You may not tend to see yourself as an addict- instead believing you smoke because you enjoy it. Research shows, however, that cigarettes are as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Nicotine alters the chemicals dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain causing a ‘rush’. This is often misinterpreted as a ‘rush’ of pleasure, when in reality the ‘rush’ only satisfies the craving created by the last cigarette. The second challenge is breaking the psychological addiction; removing the ingrained ‘habit’ of smoking as part of daily life. Start by being aware of your craving triggers. Make a note of the times of day or situations when you most need a cigarette and do your best to avoid them.
Natural solutions for your health problems The initial craving doesn’t last for longer than a couple of minutes and the body no longer needs nicotine after 48 hours of quitting. If you decide to go cold turkey, withdrawal symptoms will be at their worst during the first few days but will gradually fade. Alternatively, nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, chewing gum and nasal sprays can help. Herbal cigarettes are a great safe substitute- they’re free from nasty nicotine, so enjoy! A further herbal remedy is Plantago, which can cause an aversion to smoking. Recognised for its ability to clear congestion, clinical trials recently saw 83% of participants develop an aversion to smoking when taking the remedy. Finally, the NHS Smoking Helpline is an excellent source of help and advice on giving up. Call free on 0800 169 0 169.
Available from Bioforce, Plantago tincture should be taken 3 times a day in a little water.
Consult your Homeopath for support or ring the Complementary Health Care Clinic 01603 665173 for an appointment, or for further advice contact the Natural Food Store on 01603 613228.
Head-to-toe treatment for everyone Emma Broom, who is a registered osteopath, established the Clinic on the Green eight years ago. Her aim is to offer a place that provides people with a range of treatments that compliment orthodox medical practice and takes care of the person as a whole. An osteopath assesses the mechanical, functional and postural state of a person, to identify areas of the body that are causing problems. Tension in the connective tissue can be released by gentle manipulation. Many aches, pains and strains can be easily corrected with osteopathic treatment. Osteopathy is beneficial during pregnancy to aid the physical function and alignment of the mothers’ body. Cranial osteopathy is especially eﬀective on young children and babies who have experienced birth trauma. Alongside osteopathy there is also Physiotherapy and massage therapy, including Swedish style massage and Indian head massage. The Clinic on the Green provides a full range of beauty therapies including manicure, pedicure, eyelash/brow tinting, spray tanning, waxing and a full range of facial and body treatments using the wonderful natural skin care
products of Decleor. We also sell Decleor products. The Clinic on the Green oﬀ ers oﬀers Chiropody/ Podiatry to relieve foot pain including corns, callus, verrucae and ingrown toenails. Custom made orthotics can also be fifitted tted to maximise bio mechanical function. Acupuncture is oﬀered and fine disposable needles are used on specific points of the body to stimulate the body’s own healing ability. Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy embrace a number of approaches to overcome debilitating anxieties and to find the cause of fears and phobias, bringing about a complete and lasting release. Emotional problems can produce physical symptoms.
The Clinic on the Green really does offer head-totoe treatment and we are always happy to help with any questions you may have. Please call or visit our website for details.
Health & Beauty
Welcome to a New Era in Dentistry Netherton Dental Practice is pleased to welcome Peter Clark to the team in Long Stratton. He joins Auriel Gibson and Adam Stacey, adding to the existing wealth of knowledge and experience on offer to patients at the practice.
Practice Philosophy • Many patients come to us because we are known to be a gentle practice. • Our personal service ensures that a close professional & caring relationship is developed with a dedicated dental practitioner. • Our preventative team, comprising hygienists & an oral health educator, guarantees that oral health is given top priority. • We actively listen to you & place great emphasis on thorough investigation sending you a written report & treatment planning options for complex dentistry. • Children are treated from an early age & advice is given to parents & children on plaque control & preventative dietary habits.
Our Services Complete dental care for all ages & advanced cosmetic dentistry: Professionally Placed Restorations - Implants Tooth Whitening - Telescopic Overdentures Sports Mouthguards - Fissure Sealants - Facial Aesthetics & Veneers - Diagnosis & Treatment of Periodontal Disease - Orthodontic Treatment including Invisalign & Inman Aligners Treatment of Termperomandibular Signs & Symptoms
Netherton Dental Practice The Plain, Long Stratton NR15 2XG
Dr Auriel Gibson BDS. MSc. FDSRCS (Eng), MGDS, FFGDP. Auriel’s focus is on complex restorative treatments & dental implants. She teaches advanced dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons and is a national postgraduate examiner. Auriel is a past president of the British Society for General Dental Surgery and actively engages in postgraduate study.
Dr Adam Stacey BDS (Lond), DPDS (Brist). Adam has 17 years of experience in general practice including an advanced diploma plus a forsensics now working through an M.Sc in restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
LDS, RCS (Eng), DPDS (Bris)
Peter graduated from the London Hospital Medical College in 1981 and has worked in East Anglia for 30 years. Three years ago he sold his practice in Eye and went to work in Norwich before taking a year to travel the length of the Americas. He has recently returned to Norfolk and will carry out general dentistry in the practice. Peter has a particular interest in complete dentures.
Health & Beauty MONDAY
NEW CONSULTANT From 30th JANUARY Gt Ellingham Recreation Centre Watton Road, 6pm Tel: Wendy 01953 852336 Rickinghall Village Hall Hinderclay Road, 7.30pm Tel: Diane 01379 642949 Cringleford Pavilion Recreation Ground Oakfields Oakfi elds Road, 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Lauren 01953 600854
Hingham Lincoln Hall The Fairland, 10am Tel: Debbie 01603 813316 East Harling Youth Centre Church Road, 7.30pm Tel: Lydia 01842 760354 Diss (Fitzwalter) Infants School Fitzwalter Road 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Jane 01379 650671
Hethersett Methodist Church Gt Melton Road, 7.30pm Tel: Penny 01508 579041 Harford (Norwich) Community Centre Peterkin Road 9.30am, 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Julia 01508 578916 Harleston Archbishop Sancroft High School Wilderness Lane 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Diane 01379 642949
Pulham Market Methodist Church Bank Road, 7.30pm Tel: Jo 07900 430856 Wymondham Methodist Church Hall Town Green 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Debbie 01603 813316
Taverham (Norwich) Hinks Meadow Hall Kingswood Avenue Thorpe Marriott 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Hannah 07792 960048
Diss St Mary’s Church Hall Mount Street 9.30am & 11.30am Tel: Karen 01379 677119 Attleborough Snooker Centre London Road, 5.30pm Tel: Rita 01508 489434 Mulbarton Bracon Ash Village Hall Norwich Road, 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Julia 01508 578916 Eye Hartismere High School Castleton Way 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Jane 01379 650671 Long Stratton NEW CONSULTANT FROM MARCH St Mary’s Middle School Swan Lane, 7.30pm Tel: Karen 01379 677119 Watton Junior School Brandon Road, 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Lydia 01842 760354
Introducing Catriona. . . I’m Catriona and I have been running my Rosemary classes for 2 years now. After starting the diet I lost 2 1/2 stone and found it a great healthy eating plan- easy to stick to and adaptable to daily life. Classes are great fun and once you’re out the house it’s easier to do something positive towards your goals. Let’s face it how many times do we talk ourselves out of doing something when on our own?
The new Fat Attack Booster diet has become more flexible than ever with the plan taking into account individual tastes with higher protein or carbohydrate based menus, nutritious solo slim ready meals or even to suit a sweet tooth. The one day booster each week increases its eﬀectiveness.
It’s not easy losing weight and although I still have plenty of times now when I over indulge; by focussing back on the diet and continuing to exercise I can soon get back on track. Since doing the classes I have not had a day’s sickness and put that down to regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet. We adapt the exercise to suit all ages and levels of ﬁtness and keep it interesting by doing a mixture of aerobics, boxercise, salsa and zumba. The part I loved was that everyone was friendly and I didn’t feel self conscious in any way. I know without exercise alongside sensible eating the weight would not have shifted as easily. So why not change your life and start the New Year with a F.A.B new weight loss plan combined with exercise to give you the kick-start you need.
Just want to get fit? Then join for exercise only and keep your heart, bones and mind healthy for 2012.
Cutting Cottage Hair Salon
A great spot for peace and quiet while you relax and get your hair and nails done Sarah opened The Cutting Cottage in 2009 and Tracey Dean has just joined and between them they have 38 years’ experience in all hairdressing techniques. The salon also oﬀers a range of beauty treatments with Lesley Tigi & kms products (also available to purchase) 3 Redbrick Cottage, Palgrave IP22 1AZ Open Tue-Sat (late night available) Ample Parking
Drop a dress size at your Rosemary Conley class Classes are held in: Beccles, Diss, Haddiscoe, Harleston, Long Stratton, Trowse, & Wymondham
Membership and Diet Pack* worth £35.
Join for exercise only too mixture of Aerobics, Boxercise, Salsa & Zumba®! Call Catriona on 01508 499750 or 07918 907423
firstname.lastname@example.org *New members only. Bring advert to claim offer. ZUMBA®, ZUMBA FITNESS®; and the Zumba Fitness Logo are registered trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used with permission.
JOHN BEAR PLUMBING & HEATING GAS & OIL INSTALLATION GAS SAFE & OFTEC REGISTERED.
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The key to
s the saying goes, you shouldn’t place all your eggs in one basket. And, with our economy teetering on the brink, the same applies to your investments. The need for a balanced investment portfolio has never been as relevant. Ensuring you’re clued-up on how to make the most from your investments could be crucial to your long-term financial security.
Boom and bust cycles
During the global banking crisis of 2008, UK equities lost an average of -30% over the calendar year. But, in 2009, as investors’ confidence was boosted by the more stable economic environment, they reversed the losses with a gain of 30%. Boom and bust cycles such as these can result in devastating losses to those who have major investment in only one area. Unfortunately, you may only realise you have poor investment allocation (an unbalanced portfolio) when it’s too late. It’s one of the reasons why prevention is so much better than cure. The best way to avoid the boom and bust cycles is to try to make objective investment decisions, and getting the balance right is vital.
The message is clear: no single investment type performs consistently well. Look into alternative investment types Thankfully, there’s a wide range of investment types to choose from, so keeping your portfolio varied or ‘balanced’ should be relatively straightforward. It’s no longer just about the traditional choice of equities (shares), fixed interest securities, property and cash; you can now also invest in commodities, private equity and other more ‘alternative’ asset types. As for which asset type is the most secure, no-one can predict what will produce the best returns year after year. The best performing investment in one year can often turn out to be the worst performer the next year. Spread your money across diﬀerent investment types It’s evident that relying on just one or two investment types is unlikely to be a successful money-making strategy. It stands to reason that by spreading your money across a variety of asset types, countries and sectors, you stand a better chance of achieving good returns.
Ensure you can manage the risk
Building a balanced portfolio is a question of managing risk and weighing it up against your potential gain. And risk isn’t just about possible losses – you also have to consider things such as the risk of inﬂation and a reduction in your income if circumstances go against you. Your attitude to risk is also a key factor. A sensible investor takes into account the amount of risk they are able to tolerate, both emotionally and practically. It’s therefore vital to understand the diﬀerent levels of risk involved in each type of investment.
Different asset classes have different risk profiles:
Cash, gilts and corporate bonds are generally perceived as lower-risk investments and, historically, have provided less volatile returns than other asset types. Equities are considered to be further up the risk ladder but oﬀer you the potential for greater returns. History shows that investing in equities beats the returns of other assets, including cash, over the long term.
Get advice from a financial adviser
The uncertainty that is gripping global markets is likely to be here to stay, at least for the time being. And, as the bailout discussions in Europe have shown, there’s no quick or simple fix. So, it’s all too clear that holding a balanced, diversified portfolio is a key factor in achieving your longterm financial objectives. Getting advice from a qualified financial adviser can put your mind at ease about the quality of your investments.
Your Investments If you’d like to make sure you’re getting the most from your existing investments or discuss new investment opportunities, contact - Ian Farrant Anglian Wealth Management on 01603 752500 or email email@example.com.
Anglian Wealth Management Suite 3, Station Court, Hethersett, Norwich, NR9 3AX
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Partial or Complete Service Extensions & Alterations Conversions & New Build Work on Listed Buildings Eco-Friendly Design Outdoor Design
Tel.01379 898831 Computer Phobic? Bought a new computer and don’t know where to start or already have one and would like to improve your skills?
We can help in the comfort of your own home. £20 per hour + 20p/mile
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GETTING ATTACHED From time to time, many diﬀerent people ask me the same question: ‘Why can’t I open an attachment to an email I have been sent?’
he scenario: you are sent an email and it has a file attached to it. When you try to open the file, you get an error message saying something like – ‘the file does not have a programme associated with it’ or similar. The problem here is that each computer has a diﬀerent set of software programmes installed. Although you may be using a version of Windows, other software programmes will be installed on your computer, for example, and not necessarily on someone else’s. So, when you send them a file, created in your software, and then you send it to someone else via email, if they do not have the same software that you used, they cannot open it.
For example, if you are used to seeing Windows Media Player play music, and suddenly, without explanation, music opens in Real Player or Quicktime, it means that the newer software has become the default player. You can change this back using ‘Default Programs’ in Control Panel, or use the link underneath it ‘Associate a file type or protocol with a program’. If you are playing music, it is likely to be MP3 format, so look for MP3 in the list and change it to your preferred software programme.
As always, for any advice or help with your computer, contact your local friendly expert. Alan Carpenter - IT Adviser
Here is an example: One of my customers was sent an architect’s drawing using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) programme by email attachment. The recipient did not have any CAD software and was therefore unable to view it. The ‘fix’ here is to search online for a CAD viewer – a free software programme which can be downloaded and installed on the recipient’s PC. It is free because it only allows you to view, not edit as in the full version. You can also get ‘viewers’ for Microsoft Oﬃce programmes such as Word and Powerpoint, and they are also free to download. Another cause of this error is a diﬀerent version of the same software was used. Take Microsoft Word for example. If someone sends you a document created in a later version, say 2007 onwards, and you have a previous version, you will get the same message as above. This is because Microsoft have modified their software and you will have to either buy the later software, which is what they hope you will do, or, you can download the Compatibility Pack which is free from: http://www. microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=3 Run the software and you should be able to read later versions of Word using your older version. You may also find that certain files open with software you don’t expect, for example music files or pictures.
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CAR REVIEW SEAT Leon FR+
By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Editor • www.carwriteups.co.uk • Twitter: @carwriteups
I TEST DROVE the latest SEAT Leon recently - and the 2.0 DSI FR+ DSG auto demo model certainly got my new year off to a flying start. Harnessing 208 horses the motor is capable of 145 mph and will sprint from 0-62 in 6.9 seconds. It feels every bit as fast as the figures suggest and the gear-change paddles on the steering wheel help with that ‘boy-racer’ thrill you sometimes need after a bad day at work. Throw the FR+ around corners – and it sticks to the road; dab the accelerator on the straight and you are pushed back in your seat as the car gets down on its haunches for a gratifying sprint. But drive the car sensibly and it behaves like any normal hatchback. It’s just handy to know that if you need a bit of ‘oomph’ to quickly overtake that irritating lorry then it’s there for you. The car has it all really – as long as you’re not expecting a large seven seat multi-purpose-vehicle. Try the SEAT Alhambra if you are! Inside, the driver’s seat is supportive and the steering wheel adjusts for a satisfying grip. The dials are clear and all the knobs and switches feel logically set out. Visibility is good and, in the rear, my children sat happily in their child-seats, which were fitted securely into the ISOFIX anchoring system. My wife found the front passenger area spacious and cosseting, although on the one occasion when she travelled in the rear, she commented that legroom was a little limited. And when it came to loading, the decent-sized boot was large enough for a buggy and copious amounts of filled-to-the-brim supermarket shopping bags. As a family man, I found the car reassuring to be in. It doesn’t have a five-star Euro NCAP score, but it has an impressive enough four-star (Occupant and Child) result. The car feels well-made and there are driver and front
passenger airbags as well as side and curtain airbags. The SEAT Leon is also equipped with traction control gadgetry to help keep it on the road and anti-lock brakes to ensure it scrubs oﬀ speed safely. The FR+ has 225/40 tyres on big 18 inch alloys, Bi-xenon headlights to help you see (and be seen) just that bit better and it has useful front parking sensors too. The SEAT Leon FR+ with the 6-speed DSG auto gearbox will set you back £23,100 on the road. Not the cheapest model, but nearly £3000 less than the top-of-the-range 155 mph Cupra R – and almost as exciting to drive.
PROS ‘N’ CONS Sporty √ Fun to drive √ Well built √ Comfortable √ Rear legroom X FAST FACTS Max speed: 145 mph 0-62 mph: 6.9 secs Combined mpg: 37.7 Engine: 1984 cc 4 cylinder 16v petrol Max. power (bhp): 208 at 5000 rpm Max. torque (Ib/ft): 207 at 1700 rpm CO2: 174 g/km Price: £23,100 on the road
Award-winning ‘Mumpreneurs’ J
igsaw Care Services Plus (JCSP) is an award winning social enterprise owned and run by local businesswoman Lucy Patterson and her business partner Lorraine Clements. Operating across Suﬀolk and Norfolk, JCSP is a quality introductory care recruitment service. They specialise in providing both experienced, professional nannies/special needs nannies to local families and nursery staﬀ to local child care providers. So if you require a nanny, care worker, personal assistant, nursery worker or maternity nurse you’ll find one quickly and easily via JCSP. As award-winning ‘Mumpreneurs’, Lucy and Lorraine understand the importance of a balanced family life. They believe that children and young people in the UK have the right to safe, quality, self directed care and support that enables them to grow and develop both physically and emotionally. As a social enterprise, it is the goal of JCSP to oﬀ er oﬀer support to local charities. This year they are working in partnership with Fledglings; an East Anglian based charity that provides aids and adaptations for disabled children and young people. Therefore, by letting JCSP assist you to find a nanny that is right for your particular family situation, you are helping Fledglings to assist more disabled children than previously possible.
“Engaging with JCSP has been like a breath of fresh air. Lucy was attentive and really got a feel for what we needed in a nanny. Our daughter loves her and we have the reassurance that she has the necessary experience and background checks completed. It’s great to know we are also helping other disabled children, simply by using a service that we needed anyway - and their prices are very competitive!” Quote by parent of 8 year old disabled girl.
‘Solving your child care needs one piece at a time’
High quality screened nannies & special needs nannies available for interview now JCSP is a not for profit company
Lucy Patterson, Suffolk/Norfolk office firstname.lastname@example.org 07837 822615 www.jcsp.org.uk
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A Unique Care Home in a Unique Setting Offering Long Term Residence, Convalescence and Respite Care for Elderly Residents with Dementia. The Beeches is an elegant country house set in two acres of wooded and meadow style gardens which provides peaceful surroundings and yet is close to all local amenities. The majority of our bedrooms are on the ground ﬂoor and have the beneﬁt of en-suite facilities.
Please call or email for further details or to request a brochure.
“We are here to help” West Harling Road, East Harling NR16 2NP Tel: 01953 717584 Email: email@example.com Website: www.beechesresidential.co.uk
Providing high quality care for over 25 years
BAYLHAM CARE CENTRE NOW OPE • 55 Rooms N • Long-Term Care • Rehabilitation • Physiotherapy, Chiropodist, Hairdresser & Nail Care • Specialist Dementia Care • End of Life Care • Day Care from just £20!
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DIY is for the home… not for divorces When a relationship breaks down you are often faced with decisions surrounding several difficult issues. These issues include arrangements for looking after any children and paying child maintenance; how assets, debts and property are to be divided; and how pensions and benefits are to be adjusted. Naturally, many people will be conscious about finances during this uncertain and stressful time, and a DIY online divorce at a knock down price may be appealing.
owever, you should avoid falling into this potential trap as it can often be a false economy. Some providers of DIY legal services are simply charging for access to court forms and guidance that is already freely available from the court itself. Generally, DIY divorce services are marketed as being useful for uncontested divorce applications.
You must consider your position should the divorce application be contested. The one-oﬀ fee charged for these services do not normally provide access to immediate expert legal advice, which you would undoubtedly need should you be in this situation. Being that these are online only services, there is not an option to meet locally and in private to discuss concerns. Furthermore, as many of these service providers are not authorised or regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, options are very limited should there be a mistake or grievance. Another, more practical consideration is that many of these services do not file the
documents with the court on your behalf, unless an additional fee is paid. Even upon payment of such fee, the forms will not necessarily be filed with a court that is local to you- instead the provider will file with a court most convenient to them. In this scenario, should the divorce be successful and afterwards you want to file a consent order or a ‘clean break’ with the court, then you will find yourself dealing with and possibly driving to a court that is nowhere near East Anglia! As family law issues can be legally and financially complex, and personal by nature, most clients appreciate the support of a local dedicated lawyer who will provide direct access to good information, advice and support on these delicate matters. A professional will discuss your options and the potential consequences of your decisions, particularly those aﬀecting children, assets and finances. finances. Expert legal advice and representation that is local to you, such as that oﬀered oﬀered by Steeles Law, is essential to properly manage and mitigate the eﬀects eﬀects of family law matters. The professionals at Steeles Law are empathetic and approachable and enjoy building a rapport with clients, and can oﬀer emotional support, as well as practical support, where needed.
2 Mount Street, Diss, Norfolk IP22 4QE 01379 652141
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Thee Night Bus Th By David Seddon.
t around 5 pm, I left the tea-shop where I had passed the last few hours and walked around the crowded ‘park’, listening to the bus-boys shouting out their destinations. One hoarse voice penetrated the general cacophony - “Baitadi, Baitadi, Baitadi” - drawing me to the night bus that was to take me all the way to the hill town of that name. It was a monster, battered and lop-sided, with hand-paintings and decorations all over it, and writing at the back saying: ‘HORN’. It was already filling up. I climbed in, finding a place at the front, across from the driver, where I could stretch my legs. I have learned by experience of travelling in Nepal that where one sits matters a great deal on a long journey, particularly overnight. Most seats have little leg room; others are lumpy or soggy, or in some other way undesirable. I slid across the bench to the window, which would give me a chance to look out, get some air and provide something to lean on when I wanted to sleep. Shortly afterwards, an elderly woman sat down beside me, and, after her a thin, sadlooking man. At last, the driver arrived – a huge Sikh with a turban and a beard, and a vast swelling stomach. He climbed up into his padded tasselled seat and started the engine. His driving area was decorated with plastic ﬂowers and highly coloured religious paintings. The bus-boy – lean, dark and barely 15 years old, despite his loud hoarse voice - scurried up and down, issuing tickets to those passengers who had none, urging them to take their seats as the bus would be departing ‘any minute’. It was now 6 pm. Our journey was expected to take anything between 12 and 14 hours, so, if all went well, we would arrive in Baitadi early in the morning, in time for breakfast. The driver turned and surveyed his passengers with a proprietorial air – taking stock of the human cargo for which he was now responsible. He grinned at me – the only obvious foreigner on the bus – and lifted a small bottle to his lips. The sight of this brought to my mind Nepal’s appalling road traﬃc accident statistics. “Not to worry”, I told myself; “he’s just having a nip before starting out”. He revved the engine to a throaty roar, engaged a low gear and swung the massive steering wheel around. The monster slewed to the right in a cloud of smoke. We cleared the market place that sprawled around the bus station, and headed oﬀ down the main street. For a couple of hours, in the dusk, we trundled along the
East-West Highway. Then, as night fell, we turned oﬀ and took the hill road, heading pretty much due north. I could just see the tips of the Himalayas catching the last rays of the sun, but around us all was growing dark. An hour later and most of the passengers were asleep. I remained awake, however, mesmerised by the way the driver hauled the great vehicle round hairpin bends, leaning from side to side, and urged it up steep inclines, crouching forward across his great steering wheel as if truly riding the bus. And as he rode with his sleeping cargo, onwards and upwards into the hills, he sang; and the bus seemed to answer, with groans and creaking sounds, its chassis and body-work responding to the shifting force of gravity, and to its driver. And as he rode and sang, he also drank from his bottle. Many times during that long, long night he peered over at me, and grinned – a devilish grin; many times he raised his bottle to me in salute. I grinned back, terrified, unable to sleep, peering into the beam of the slanting headlights cutting through the night in front of us, seeing ghostly shapes of cliﬀs and roadside rocks and trees ﬂicker past. Once, I thought I saw a largish animal loom up and disappear to the side. Half-dreaming, I imagined, many times, a fatal wrong turn, a rapid slide over the edge into the blackness…. Eventually, the dawn came, the other passengers began to wake, and we approached our destination. Mountains loomed above us, and the valleys seemed steeper than ever. We ground our way into Baitadi, with its single main street and rough bus park at the road-head - from where some of the passengers would walk many days further to reach their homes – and stopped. Before he climbed out of his seat, the driver turned to look across at me once more and shouted: “well, sir, we made it”, and laughed a great boozy laugh. Once more I grinned back at him: “yes, we did”.
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