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Issue 100 - November 2013

Delivered throughout Ibstock, Ravenstone, Heather, Coleorton, Swannington, Packington, Normanton le Heath and surrounding areas


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Publisher: What’s Around Ltd. Printed by: Context, Packington Editor: Paul Garrett Advertising: 01530 832015 Email:advert@whatsaround.co.uk Web: www.whatsaround.co.uk Address: Hall Gardens, Ravenstone, Leics. LE67 2HF

Ginger Page 24

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this publication is accurate, neither the publisher, printer nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by the errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval systems or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the prior permission of the publisher. What’s Around Ltd. does not officially endorse any advertising material contained within this publication. Nevertheless, it will from time to time, recommend individual services and or businesses which have either been recommended by readers, contributors or by our own personal experience.

Film Review Page 53

Food & Drink 8

Seasonal Recipes

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Nachos

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Slow cooker chicken and butternut squash stew

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Sausage, pumpkin and sage casserole

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Seasonal Desserts

Monthly Features 10

Crossword

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Sudoku

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Book Review Too

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Book Review

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Wordsearch

Contents

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The Palace

General

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Jobs in the Garden

Copy deadline for DEC 2013 is 20th 2013

Seasonal Desserts Page 50

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The Benefits of Pumpkins

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Just for Kids

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Green Footprints Challenge

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Good New Films and those you may have missed

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Worthy Wines - Italy

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Your Stars by Dan Worthaus

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Are you ready for Winter?

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What’s On

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Trees for Free

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Useful Numbers

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Timebanking

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Index of Advertisers

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Seasonal Recipes Pumpkin Soup 0 Serves 1 r Prep 1 h Ready in rs 1 to 32 h Ingredients • 1 x 4kg/8lb 13oz pumpkin • 125g/4oz butter • 2 medium onions, peeled, finely chopped • 1 cinnamon stick • freshly grated nutmeg • salt and freshly

ground black pepper • 1.7 litres/3 pints chicken stock (vegetarians may substitute vegetable • stock) • 3 tablespoons sherry

1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and fibres from the middle and discard. 2. Using a sharp knife and a spoon, carefully hollow out the pumpkin, removing the flesh and setting aside. (It is imperative that you do not cut right up to the inside of the skin or pierce it. Leave 2cm/1in of flesh all around the inside.) Roughly chop the scooped-out pumpkin flesh. 3. Melt the butter in a large pan with a lid over a low heat and add the onions. Cook the onions gently for 10-15 minutes, until they are softened and golden-brown. 4. Add the pumpkin flesh, the cinnamon and nutmeg, and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Increase the heat to medium and cover with the lid. Cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the base from burning, until the pumpkin is cooked through. 5. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the soup to a food processor in batches and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and bring to a low simmer and cook for a further half an hour. 6. Forty-five minutes before eating, preheat the oven to 170C/335F/Gas 3. Pour the soup into the hollow pumpkin shell, add the sherry and stir to combine. Place the reserved pumpkin ‘lid’ onto the pumpkin and place onto a large baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, to bring the soup up to temperature. 7. To serve, carefully remove from the oven and serve the soup in thepumpkin at the table. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Linguine with prawns and mussels Serves 4 Prep 30 mins Ready in 30 mins

Ingredients • 500g/1lb 2oz mussels • 250g/9oz whole raw prawns • 6 tbsp olive oil • 1 garlic clove, crushed • ½ red chilli, finely sliced

• 50ml/2fl oz white wine • 1 lemon, juice only • small bunch flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped • 400g/14oz linguine • salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Clean the mussels by scrubbing them in cold water, and removing the beards. If any remain open after tapping them against the side of the work surface, discard them. 2. Peel the prawns, removing the heads but leaving the tails intact. 3. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan, and add the garlic and chilli. After a minute or two, add the mussels and the wine. Cover with the lid and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until the mussels open. If any mussels remain closed at the end of cooking, discard them. 4. Add the prawns and cook for a further 4–5 minutes, then squeeze in the lemon juice. 5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the roughly chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 6. Meanwhile, cook the linguine in lightly salted boiling water for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente. Add the pasta to the pan with the shellfish sauce, mix together well and serve immediately. Courtesy Bella Radford

Courtesy Valentine Warner

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Book Review Too!

by Buck Verm

Dead Man Rising By Jack Hayes (Ebook) The American football team, the ‘Black Ears’, has a problem - not on the pitch but in the press. Bad stories are being spread about them. Simon Ritter is hired to clean up its image. His job is to be the first man on the scene - any potential news story has to reach him before the press, so he can cover up and neutralise any scandal. As soon as he starts work the club’s deputy grounds-keeper asks for a meeting. But when Ritter arrives he finds the man shot dead. As he starts investigating the murder, he finds out a Russian billionaire called Janokovic has just bought the club. But why? And what is the true source of his fabulous wealth? As Ritter starts to uncovers the truth he finds not only his reputation, but his life, is on the line. And very soon it will be game on or game over for Ritter. Jack Hayes is an author and journalist living in London. His books include the best-selling ‘Blood Red Sea’ and ‘Dead Man Rising’.

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Recipe

Nachos Serves 4 Preparation time less than 30 mins Cooking time less than 10 mins Ingredients For the guacamole 2 very ripe avocados, skin and stones removed 1 large lime, juice only 1 chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped ½ garlic clove, peeled, grated pinch ground cumin (optional) 1 large ripe tomato, seeds removed, chopped 2 spring onions, trimmed, finely sliced salt and freshly ground black pepper For the salsa 3-4 tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped dash Tabasco, to taste 1 garlic clove, peeled 1 large lime, juice only ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil For the nachos 2 x 200g/7oz bags plain tortilla chips 200g/7oz jar jalapeno chillies, drained, sliced 200g/7oz mature cheddar cheese, grated To serve 1 x 150ml/5¼fl oz pot soured cream small handful chopped fresh coriander leaves

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1.

Preheat the oven to 220C/430F/Gas 7.

2.

For the guacamole, mash all of the guacamole ingredients together in a bowl using a fork, until well combined.

3.

Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed (or

4.

for at least 20 minutes).

5.

Meanwhile, for the salsa, mix all of the salsa ingredients together until well combined. Set aside for 10 minutes.

6.

Sprinkle the tortilla chips into a large ovenproof dish. Scatter over the sliced jalapeno peppers and grated cheese. Transfer to the oven and cook until the cheese has melted, about 4-5 minutes.

7.

To serve, spoon dollops of the guacamole, salsa and soured cream on top of the nachos. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves.

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Recipe

Slow cooker chicken and butternut squash stew Serves 4-6 Prep Time less than 30 mins Cooking Time over 2 hours Ingredients 100g/3½oz plain flour 4 tbsp sunflower oil 500g/1lb 2oz boneless, skinless chicken thigh, chopped into 2.5cm/1in pieces 1 onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 chillies, finely chopped 175ml/6fl oz white wine ½ butternut squash, peeled, chopped into 2.5cm/1in pieces 300ml/10fl oz chicken stock 5 sprigs fresh thyme 3 bay leaves 4 tbsp crème fraîche salt and freshly ground black pepper small handful chopped fresh parsley 1.

Sprinkle the flour onto a plate.

2.

Heat half of the oil in a frying pan, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until browned all over. (You may need to brown the chicken in batches.) Tip the browned chicken into the slow cooker.

3.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for five minutes, then add the garlic and chilli and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook for another few minutes, or until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half.

4.

Tip the onion mixture into the slow cooker.

5.

Add the butternut squash, chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Stir everything together, pressing down so that everything is covered in liquid. Cook for 8-10 hours on low.

6.

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the crème fraîche and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a further 30 minutes, then stir in the parsley. Courtesy Rachel Manley

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Healthy Living

The Benefits of Pumpkins This time of year people buy pumpkins to carve out and decorate for Halloween. The scary faces are illuminated by the glow of the tea light candle that is placed inside the shell of the fruit. A lot of the time, the seeds and flesh of the pumpkin is discarded as only the shell is needed. Pumpkin is a fruit and should be used as one. The humble pumpkin has so many uses, as already mentioned, it is used as a decoration but it has nutritional benefits too. The flesh of the pumpkin is very high in carotenoids, this is what gives it that rich orange colour but it is also a neutralizer for free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to the body by attacking cell membranes. This isn’t the only benefit we receive from pumpkins as they also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are powerful antioxidants which may help to prevent the formation of cataracts in the eyes. There are even more nutrients in a pumpkin, they contain fibre, iron and zinc. Fibre in our diets is very important for bowel health, zinc helps to strengthen the immune system, which is very important at this time of year with the seasonal coughs, colds and flu and iron is needed by red blood cells. The flesh of the pumpkin can be eaten in many ways, it can be cooked and made into a soup for the cold winter days, it can be baked into a pie and added to breads 24

and many other dishes. The seeds are an excellent source of nutrition too. Pumpkin seeds are also called pepitas and they are extremely high in protein. Unbelievably, just one ounce of seeds provides us with around seven grams of protein. They also contain copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc which help to lower cholesterol and give some relief from arthritic conditions. These seeds are a greenish colour and can be eaten either raw or cooked. Try roasting these seeds and eat them as a snack, or toast them and sprinkle them onto a salad. With their sweet, nutty flavour they can be eaten all year round, not just for Halloween. The oil of the pumpkin is useful too. It is high in essential fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin E and like the seeds, it can help to lower cholesterol. Pumpkin seed oil’s dark appearance and nutty flavour set it apart from the milder oils. And when you have done with your pumpkin and it is getting rather saggy and a little bit smelly, don’t just throw it in the bin, it still has many uses. If the pumpkin is rotting, break it up and add it to your compost heap or bin or bury it around your rose bushes as this adds valuable nutrients to the soil. Give the birds a treat and scatter the unwanted seeds around or in the bird feeder and watch out for the squirrels as they like them too. Even Cinderella had a use for a pumpkin!

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Recipe

Sausage, pumpkin and sage casserole Serves about 4 Preparation Time less than 30 mins Cooking Time 1 to 2 hours Ingredients 50g/1žoz butter 6 good-quality sausages, pricked several times with a fork 1 onion, peeled, thinly sliced 3 banana shallots, peeled, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage 1 small pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into equal-sized pieces 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp caster sugar 200g/7oz canned chopped tomatoes 400g/14oz canned cannellini beans, drained, rinsed 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, to serve

1.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2.

Heat half the butter in a large casserole over a medium heat and fry the sausages for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown all over.

3.

Add the remaining butter, onion and shallots and fry for three minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and sage leaves and cook for a further three minutes, stirring well.

4.

Add the pumpkin and stir the mixture until well combined. Increase the heat to high and add the white wine vinegar. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

5.

Add the sugar, tomatoes, cannellini beans and stock and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6.

Bring the mixture to the boil, then transfer the casserole to the oven for one hour, or until the sausages are cooked through and the pumpkin is tender.

7.

To serve, ladle the casserole into two large bowl and sprinkle with the flatleaf parsley. Courtesy Matt Tebbutt

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WORTHY WINES ITALY Italy has a beautiful coastline, plus mountains, lakes and cities, all with a lot of history to tell. Some of the world’s best hotels are located here. Italy is famous for many productions, from designer fashions to cars. The wonderful cuisine of Italy is matched by the wines the country produces, with wine growing families having hundreds of years experience. Numerous producers export their wines around the world, including to the UK. I located Off-Piste Wines, a company that works with trusted producers worldwide, to formulate a range of quality wines, including many award-winners, which give great value. Fairtrade wines can also be found within Off-Piste Wines’ ranges. Bidoli, Friuli, Sauvignon Blanc, DOC, is an excellent white wine, from a family winery founded in 1924. Fresh, with a good bouquet and a most pleasing palate, this wine pairs very well with white meats and fish, etc. For the reds, I am most impressed with the following: LA PiUMA, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, DOC. This intensely, red-coloured wine is made using Montepulciano grapes. A very good, red fruit bouquet, leads enticingly to a superb mouthfeel, that is full-bodied, with the fruit flavours extending through, to the wonderful finish. Romagne, DOC, Sangiovese, Superiore,

utilises ripe Sangiovese grapes from the best vineyards in the Romagna region. I found this production to have an inviting bouquet and a full palate sensation of ripe, red fruits. Excellent to accompany many dishes. Barone Montalto, Nero d’Avola, Appassimento (Sicily), IGT, is produced using grapes which are partially dried on the vines. Nero d’Avola is a particular favourite with many, and this, I found, as an exceptionally superb production. Deep red, in colour, plus a magnificent bouquet, leads to an impressive palate sensation, to be remembered. This full-bodied wine is well-balanced and pairs with red meats and numerous dishes, perfectly. For further information about these and many other splendid wines, Off-Piste Wines Ltd has all the details, including availability. Tel: 01242 229630 Email: info@ offpistewines.com www.offpistewines.com

As always, Enjoy!

Trevor Langley

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The Goldfinch by Donnar Tartt & Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin

The Goldfinch Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate. Saints of the Shadow Bible When a young woman is found unconscious at the wheel of her car, evidence at the scene suggests this was no ordinary crash. Especially when it turns out her boyfriend is the son of the Scottish Justice Minister and neither of them is willing to talk to the police. Meanwhile, John Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a big demotion and an even larger chip on his shoulder. A new law has been passed allowing the Scottish police to re-prosecute old crimes and a thirty-year-old case is being reopened, with Rebus and his team from back then suspected of corruption and worse. Known as ‘the Saints’, his colleagues swore a bond of mutual loyalty on something called ‘the Shadow Bible’. But with Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer - and determined to use Rebus for his own ends - the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer. With political turmoil threatening to envelop Scotland, who really are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other?

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The Palace

Novembers’s forthcoming events at the Palace are as follows: Saturday, 2nd November – Ashby Concert Band presents “Music from the Musicals”. Concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets: £8.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Friday, 8th November - Palace Line Dance - with Honky Tonk Cliff. A great social night out with no partner required! Dancing from 7.45pm. Doors & bar open at 7.00pm. Tickets: In advance £4.50 or £5.50 on the door, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Saturday 9th November - Charity Equestrian sale – 1-4pm. From new to ‘preloved’ items – saddles, bridles, rugs, horsewear & ‘humanwear’ and much, much more. For more details or to book a stall Tel: 01530 262400. Saturday, 9th November – Trio Gitan. To celebrate the release of their album, Trio Gitan are embarking on their EASTERN HORIZONS tour UK. This show has been playing to high acclaim and takes the audience on a whistle-stop tour of Rural Europe. An infectious blend of Gypsy Jazz, Classical, Klezmer and original compositions provide an inspired performance. Supporting the music is a slide show of evocative images, which portray the people, landscapes and lifestyles at the roots of their music. Performance starts at 8.00pm. Doors & bar 7.30pm. Tickets: £8.00, concessions £6.00, Combination ticket (1 Full & 2 concessions) £16.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Friday, 15th November - Film Night – ‘In Love with Alma Cogan’ (12A). This romantic comedy (an independent British film) filmed around Cromer Pier, Norfolk, tells the story of a theatre manager battling the council over management of the venue. Starring Roger Lloyd Pack as theatre manager, Norman, and hinges on a brief encounter with singing star Alma Cogan in the 1960s. Doors & bar open at 7.00pm. Film starts at 7.30pm. Tickets: £4.00/£3.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Saturday, 16th November - Palace Social Dance – A very popular evening of Ballroom, Latin, and Sequence Doors & bar open at 7.00pm. Dancing from 7.30pm ‘till 11.00pm.Tickets: £5.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Sunday, 24th November - Palace Indoor Car boot Sale from 9.00am – mid-day. Pick up a bargain! Admission 20p. For More details or to book a stall call Gary on Tel 01530 262400. Friday, 29th and Saturday 30th November – Pinder’s Human Circus with ringmaster and illusionist. Clowns, sword and dagger balancing plus juggling, plate spinning and diablo acts. Friday Performance starts at 7.00pm and Saturdays performances are 2.00pm and 5.00pm. PAY ON THE DOOR. For ticket prices see website www.pinderscircus.co.uk or contact The Palace Tel: 01530 262400. Coming soon: Friday, 6th December - Christmas Film Night – ‘The Great Gatsby’ – Doors/ bar open at 7.00pm. Film starts at 7.30pm. Tickets: £4.00/£3.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Saturday, 7th December – Badapple Theatre Company presents ‘The mice who ate Christmas’. A delightfully upbeat Christmas tale about Edna and Wilbur, two particularly hungry village mice who are having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. (8+) Performance starts at 4.00pm. Tickets: £8.00, concessions £6.00, Combination ticket

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(1 Full & 2 concessions) £16.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Saturday, 7th December - A very popular evening of Ballroom, Latin, and Sequence Doors & bar open at 7.00pm. Dancing from 7.30pm ‘till 11.00pm.Tickets: £5.00, tel. the Palace on (01530) 262400 or Halls Electrical on (01530) 260460 for tickets. Sunday December 8th – Enderby Youth Band fund raising concert. 3.00-5.00pm. For more details contact Mrs Rudkin on Tel: 07886 179868. Regular bookings: Monday Mosaic Disability Services - 9.30am - 3.30pm. Contact Amanda Tebbutt on (0116) 2318720 0r (07912) 480961. Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness – 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Contact Judith Sell on (0115) 714 8480. Fitness Pilates class – 7.45pm – 8.45pm. 678367.

Contact Michelle Scott-Worthington on (07887)

Tuesday Bubbles Playgroup – 10.30am – 12 Noon. Contact Rachel Seabrook on (01530) 452144. Circuit Training – 6.45pm – 7.45pm. Contact Curtis Smith on 07870 498110. Tai Chi – 8pm – 9pm. Contact Doug Gerrard on (07969) 480684. Wednesday 60+ Fitness Pilates – 9.30am – 10.30am. Contact Michelle Scott-Worthington on (07887) 678367. Zumba Fitness class – 6.15pm–7.15pm. Contact the Palace on (01530) 267303. Thursday Active Steps Workout – posture, balance and fitness class – 11am – 12 noon. Contact Michelle Scott-Worthington on (07887) 678367. Outlook Group (a social group for senior citizens) - 1.30pm – 3pm. Contact Elaine Hodgetts on (01530) 262400. Bingo – Doors open 7.30pm. Eyes down at 8pm. Licensed bar & refreshments. Everyone welcome. Friday Tai Chi – 10am – 11am. Contact Michael Cashmore on (07714) 215216. Yoga Classes (Hatha). 11.30am-1.00pm :: NEW CLASS STARTS 8th NOVEMBER 1.152.15pm. - Details from sandradyoga@yahoo.co.uk or telephone (07966) 308826. Childrens Dance Classes - Beginners Ballet 4.00-4.45pm; Beginners Tap 4.45-5.30pm; Musical Theatre 5.30-6.15pm Contact Miss Jessica of Rochelle School Of Dance (established over 60 years in the area) (01455) 636514, (07949) 121442 or office@rochelle-dance.com Saturday Community Morning at the Palace – 10am to 12 noon. Every Saturday (except the 1st Saturday each month) the Palace plays host to groups, organisations and associations from the village, including the Ibstock Historical Society. So if you would like to learn more about what is happening in your community, come along to the Palace. Also a variety of market stalls selling locally produced goods, including delicious home made cakes, plus produce from Ibstock’s very own Dairy, including milk, butter, yoghurt and cream. Light refreshments available. The Palace Community Centre is available to hire for regular events and commercial hire, as well as private parties and celebrations. The Palace has a fully licensed bar, kitchen facilities, large free car park opposite venue, good disability access and facilities, full PA and lighting system, large screen and wi-fi, making it an ideal venue for numerous types of events. The Palace Community Centre Ltd., High Street, Ibstock, Leicestershire, LE67 6LH. Tel (01530) 262400. E-mail:enquiries@thepalaceibstock.co.uk

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Seasonal Desserts Chocolate fridge cake

Make Prep s 12 30 m Read ins y in 10 min s Ingredients • 250g/8oz digestive biscuits • 150g/5oz milk chocolate • 150g/5oz dark chocolate • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter

• 150g/5oz golden syrup • 100g/3½oz dried apricots, chopped • 75g/2½oz raisins • 60g/2oz pecans, chopped (optional)

12 Makes ins 0m 3 p e r P in Ready s in m 30

Ingredients

beaten • 100g/3½oz butter, melted • 100g/3½oz toasted, skinned hazelnuts, chopped • 25g/1oz dried cherries • 25g/1oz dried cranberries • 75g/2½oz crunchy granola

1. Use cling film to line a 20cm (8in) shallow, square-shaped tin. Leave extra cling film hanging over the sides.

• 300g/10½oz selfraising flour, sifted • 1 tsp baking powder • pinch salt • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 150g/5½oz light brown sugar • 250ml/9fl oz full-fat milk • 2 free-range eggs,

2. Bash the biscuits into pieces using a rolling pin. (Put them in a plastic bag first so they don’t go everywhere!)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases.

3. Melt chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and then stir in the sugar.

4. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the broken biscuits, apricots, raisins and pecans (optional). 5. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Level the surface by pressing it down with a potato masher. 6. Leave to cool, then put the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set. 7. Turn out the cake and peel off the cling film. Cut the cake into 12 squares and enjoy! Courtesy Annabel Karmel

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Breakfast muffins

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter, then pour into the dry ingredients and quickly mix together. Stir in the hazelnuts, dried cherries and dried cranberries. 4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cases and sprinkle the top of each with the granola. 5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean. 6. Leave to cool for five minutes in the tin before serving warm or at room temperature. Courtesy Tim Maddams

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This Months Jobs in the Garden Flower Garden - Start plant spring your spring bulbs, make certain that you place them at the right depth. If you have not prepared your border spacing try planting your bulbs in large pots instead. These bulbs can then be planted later to fill in the gaps. Tidy borders - By November you will start to notice that your borders are starting to look a lttle messy. Any perennials past their best can be cut right down, clearing away remains and adding them to the compost heap. Plant new hedges Container-grown evergreens and conifers planted now will get a really good start in life, so complete new hedging projects as soon as possible. Divide perennial asters Perennial asters like Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ produce striking display of bold daisy flowers from late summer for an attractive autumn show. The secret is to divivide clumps every second or third year after removing old flowering stems and replant the new sections, watering them in thoroughly. Wallflowers - Fill gaps in borders with wallflowers for a great blaze of spring colour. Try spacing wildflowers so that they will grow into one another. For that extra flare, why not try planting tulips with flowers in a contrasting colour between them. Lawn care - Spike/ Fork your lawns using a hollow-tined aerator and brush grit into the holes to improve drainage. Get your lawn in tip top condition. Frost protection - Keep an eye out for frost. Frost can bring a sudden end to flowering displays. Start bringing in any tender plants and crops under cover or If you run out of time throw over sheets of fleece over plants or containers to give give some temporary protection. Clear up fallen leaves - Make life easier for yourself and buy a garden vacuum for the garden. New designs often include an internal shredder blade fitted that chops up the leaves as they pass into the collecting bag speeding up decomposition into friable leaf-mould. Seeds - By saving your seeds it is cost effective and can give some fantastic results. Leave the last of your sweet peas on the plant to set seed and develop pods. Once ripe podscan be picked and the seed removed, cleaned and stored. Another option is to sow sweet peas now for some early blooms. Save seeds from peas and runner beans. Bulbs in containers, pots and bowls - Finish planting up bowls of spring-flowering bulbs, including narcissi, crocuses, dwarf irises and tulips. Place bulbs in a cool area to grow making sure they are protected from heavy rain.

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Just for kids

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Gravity (2013) Bio-medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a Mission Specialist on her first space shuttle mission, S T S - 1 5 7 , accompanied by veteran a s t r o n a u t Matt Kowalski ( G e o r g e Clooney), who is commanding his final expedition. During the final spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope, Mission Control in Houston warns the team that debris from a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite has caused a chain reaction of destruction and that they must abort the mission. Shortly afterward, communications from Mission Control are lost, though Stone and Kowalski continue to transmit in hopes that the ground crew can hear them. High-speed

debris

kills

engineer

Shariff and damages the space shuttle Explorer, sending Stone far away from it. Kowalski, who is wearing a thruster pack, navigates to Stone and retrieves her. Tethered together, the two make their way back to Explorer, where they discover it has been damaged far beyond usability, and the rest of the crew are dead. They decide to use the thruster pack to make their way to the International Space Station (ISS), which is in orbit only about 100 km (60 mi) away. Kowalski estimates they have 90 minutes before the debris field completes an orbit and threatens them again. Baggage Claim (2013) Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister’s wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton) finds herself with only 30 days to find Mr. Right. Using her airline connections to “accidentally” meet up with eligible ex-boyfriends and scour for potential candidates, she racks up more than 30,000 miles and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.

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Your Stars Your Stars for the Month 2013 by Dan Worthaus Aries - March 20th - April 20th Your sights are set high in November, dear Aries, but several circumstances help to bring you back down to earth. You can successfully combine practical matters and more fanciful ones this month. With focus, you can make enormous progress in your work. You are likely to deal with romantic illusions on the 6-7. Career and financial matters are strong and settled by the 15-16, after a scurry of activity and worries on the 10th. The last week of the month brings powerful intuition for work, the chance to turn losses into gains, and opportunities to deal with past problems. Taurus - April 21st - May 21st The 10th brings heightened emotions and personal revelations, generally relationshiprelated, with the Full Moon in your sign, dear Taurus. At around the same time, romance begins to heat up. Some of you are pursuing it more assertively, and others are experiencing ups and downs. Avoid new relationships that seem to be inviting trouble. The 15-16 is strong for romance and creativity. Shared finances can become tricky to handle in the last week of the month and into December, so do what you can to straighten out debt, as well as ownership and joint money matters, before then. Gemini - May 22nd - June 21st Good energy for relationships and negotiations is with you for most of November, dear Gemini. Your attitude towards your close ties is transforming in significant ways. Single Geminis might meet an especially charming and communicative love interest. Work and professional matters are well starred this month. Your goals are clearer and motivation is easy to find. From the 11th, you could feel a strong desire to renovate your home, but be careful that you don’t take on more projects than you can reasonably handle. From the 24th, complications can arise that have you rethinking what you’ve started. Cancer - June 22nd - July 23rd Work relationships improve in November, dear Cancer, but avoid overloading your plate with responsibilities, as they are likely to come back to haunt you in the last week of the month when things can get very hectic. Mix-ups and other such challenges are likely then. Any “crisis” occurring in your work at this time is simply clearing the way towards better work conditions. Carefully watch your spending and financial dealings around the 6-8th. The temptation to borrow from the future, combined with unrealistic expectations, can lead you down the wrong road. A relationship strengthens on the 27th. Leo - July 24th - August 23rd Your charm is considerable this month, dear Leo. However, a simple flirtation could be misinterpreted as more than it is, so watch that you don’t land yourself into unnecessarily complicated situations. You could change your mind, or cool off, in the last week of November. The same may be true of taking on new creative projects - you can start them feeling gung-ho, and then lose interest later. Ups and downs come from the need to frequently discern between fact and fancy. Finding a middle ground is the key. Virgo - August 23rd - September 22nd November is likely to begin with a certain level of ambiguity or uncertainty surrounding work and love matters, dear Virgo. Keep a low profile and avoid jumping to conclusions until after the 11th, when energy levels increase and indecisiveness no longer plagues you. As confident and energetic as you feel, however, avoid taking on too many new projects, as you’re likely to feel their weight in the last week of the month. Moderation and focus are keys to success now. The 27th is excellent for finding love in unexpected places.

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Libra - September 23rd - October 23rd You’re so busy this month that it’s easy to get distracted and miss important information, dear Libra. Working your charm is effortless now, however, but do watch for confusion in love and friendship on the 6-7. After this, you’re much better off with more clarity in these areas of life. Mechanical break-downs, misinformation, dealing with red tape, and other such annoyances, are likely in the last week of November. Concentrate on getting your work done well the first time so you won’t have to redo things later. Scorpio - October 24th - November 22nd Financial matters seem very promising this month, dear Scorpio, but do be careful that you don’t overdo spending or purchase large ticket items that you are likely to regret later in November. Ambiguity surrounding career matters on the 6-7 clears up by the 15-16. Romantic proclamations or relationship challenges are likely on the 10th. Trust issues are in play. Trying to separate fact from fiction in your love life could put you on an emotional roller coaster. Personal impact is strong this month, especially from the 11th forward. Sagittarius - November 23rd - December 21st Personal popularity soars this month, dear Sagittarius. Your independent spirit pushes up and out, and you enjoy plenty of scope for doing your own thing. Others take special interest in you. Enhancing your appearance in some manner serves to increase your confidence even further. Career and finances are especially strong, particularly on the 15-16 and 23-27. Even so, be careful that you don’t let runaway optimism lead you to take on more projects than you can handle, as you’ll likely feel the pressure in the last week of the month. Capricorn - December 22nd - January 20th Your private life is especially animated this month, dear Capricorn. You’re not as willing to share your feelings with the world in November, and personal plans are in an early stage of development. You’re in a period of reflection and preparation, so take things as slowly as you can. Sacrifices may need to be made when it comes to your relationships - you are required to be sympathetic and helpful now. The last few days of the month, however, bring love matters up front and centre. Appreciation for your efforts is forthcoming now. Aquarius - January 21st - February 19th While your career initiatives remain on the front burner in November, dear Aquarius, pressure to perform is reduced, and your social life begins to take more priority. You’re in high demand with friends, and group activities can keep you pleasantly busy this month. Even so, exercise moderation when it comes to answering those demands, as the last week of November can be especially hectic and you may regret having scheduled too many activities. A partner’s behaviour can be baffling around the 6-7. Financial matters become clearer but more pressing. Pisces - February 20th - March 20th You’re feeling especially optimistic about your work this month, dear Pisces, and you’re being received in a wonderfully charming light. It’s easy to rally up support now. As long as you avoid the trap of taking on too many responsibilities, you’ll be fine later in the month when complications can arise and things become extremely busy. Don’t spread yourself out too thin. Problems that have been brewing in your close relationships can become pressing from the 11th forward. Conversations are helpful around the 15-16, but backtracking is likely from the 24th forward.

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What’s On Friday 1st November 2013 Ravenstone Events Group, Halloween Party at Ravenstone Village Institute, 7.00pm to 10.00pm. Fancy Dress - Prizes to be won. Tickets Limited. Admission 1 child free with each paying adult (16+). Adults £3.50, additional accompanied child £1.00. Tickets available at The Village Shop and the Plough Inn. Sat 2nd November 2013 Ibstock Events Group presents the Ashby Concert Band in Music from the Musicals at The Palace, Ibatock starting at 7.30pm. Tickets £8.00 available from Halls Electricals, High St, Ibstock, Tel 01530 260460 or The Palace, Tel 01530 262400. Sat 9th November 2013 Autumn Bazaar at St Laurence’s Church Hall, Measham, DE12 7HZ. 12.00 to 3.00pm. Raising money for Redgate Farm Animal Sanctuary and Measham Guides. There will be refreshments, raffle, have a go craft table, face painting, children’s pocket money stall, biscuit decorating and more. Trade stalls including Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Body Shop, Phoenix Trading, as well as handmade items cakes, jewellery & fabric crafts and more! Why not come along support the charities and perhaps pick up some Christmas gifts. Entrance 50p adult and 20p children. For further information, please contact Sharon Raines on 01530 274774. Sat 9th November 2013 Phill Jupitus. ‘You’re Probaly Wondering Why I’ve Invited you Here’ - A three-part performance unlike anything you have seen before as Phill Jupitus plays the part of three extraordinary characters. At Century Theatre at Snibston, starting 8.00pm. Admission £15. For more details call 01530 278444.

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Fri 15th November 2013 Centre Stage presents Trio Manouche. Trio Manouche is one of the UK’s leading Gypsy Swing acts, performing the works of Django Reinhardt and their own original swing compositions and songs. At Thringstone House Community Centre First Floor Hall. 7.30pm to 10.30pm. Admission Adult £9 Child £8. For more details call 01530 222337. Sat 16th November 2013 Coffee morning with crafts,cake and book stalls in aid of Hospice Hope.At Holy Rood Church, Packington, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 10.00 - 12.00. Admission, adults £1, children free. Sat 16th November 2013 Elizabeth l as portrayed by Lesley Smith. Glittering dramatic performance and Q&A with Lesley Smith (Curator of Tutbury Castle and Elizabethan historian), transporting the audience back to the reign of the great Queen. At Century Theatre at Snibston, starting at 7.30pm. Admission £7 advance, £9 on the door. For more details call 01530 278444. Sat 23rd November 2013 Coalville Town Team invite everyone to the first Coalville Food, Drink and Music Festival in Coalville town centre. 10.00am to 4.00pm.There will be plenty to eat, Christmas gifts to buy and music to suit all tastes. We even have an ice rink and activities for children from toddlers to teens. The festival is taking place in the centre of town, with the Precinct forming the focal point for stalls selling food and Christmas gifts and crafts. Then, on Needham Walk Car Park we have an ICE RINK to give that real Christmas feel to the day. There will be hot food on sale around the area, a Routemaster Bus Bar and music. Children are not forgotten. We have a crèche for pre-school aged children, and activities organised

by Mantle Arts for the older ones who will be able to make and take home a souvenir of their day. Pupils from Castle Rock School are taking a very special role throughout the day – look out for our posters. Sun 24th November 2013 The Love Story of Alfred J Hitchcock. An evening in the head of the master of suspense. National tour of World Premiere drama starring Martin Miller and Roberta Kerr (Coronation Street’s Wendy Crozier/Papadopoulos). Supported by Centre Stage. At Century Theatre at Snibston, starting at 7.30pm. Admission £8 advance, £10 on the door. For more details call 01530 278444. Sun 15th December 2013 Chairman’s Civic Carol Service. North West Leicestershire District Council Chairman Councillor Geraint Jones will be holding his Civic Carol Service on Sunday 15 December – 2.30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Ashby de la Zouch. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Tea and coffee will be served after the service and donations will be split between the Chairman’s Charity Appeal, and Holy Trinity Church Ashby de la Zouch. Concordia Choir will be leading the singing and performing a solo spot. We are hoping that one of the local school choirs will also be taking part. Tickets will be issued to track numbers.For more information and tickets contact: Angela Bexton, 01530 454603 or email angela.bexton@ nwleicestershire.gov.uk.

It’s free to have your event details published in the What’s On section. Either email us with your details to info@whatsaround. co.uk or fill out our on-line event form at www.whatsaround. co.uk. Space permitting we’ll get your event noticed.

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Index I n d ex o f Ad ver tise rs

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Whatsaround Magazine November 2013