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Sue Johnston

‘I’m going to be a granny!’

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yours cover 110.pgs

14:42:11 02.03.2011 13:31 Rival2/3/11 Colour LTD

❤❤H eart ❤ ❤ to Heart

Age is an elastic concept for fun-loving actress Caroline Quentin who likes nothing better than mucking about with her kids and dogs

By Daphne Lockyer urning 50 was a special occasion for actress Caroline Quentin. Not for her a quiet night in feeling sorry for herself – life is far too much fun! Instead, she went off travelling through India for a new ITV documentary, meeting its people and having a few adventures on the way. “At one stage I found myself strapped to a camel and riding through the sand dunes – very fast,” she laughs. “And there was the occasion when I went to the dance festival in Navratri in Gujarat. The teenaged girls of the family I was staying with dressed me up and did my make up so I could go along and take part. On both occasions I thought, ‘What am I doing? I’m making an absolute arse of myself, and I’m supposed to be 50!’ “My age catches me unawares sometimes, although I’m aware that I’m not in my 40s anymore. I’ll be mucking around with the kids and I’ll think, ‘Oh gawd, I’m in my middle years, should I really be behaving like this? But then I think, ‘You know what? Why should age be a barrier to anything, especially when it comes to having fun with your children?’.” Travelling to India with ITV was a dream come true for Caroline. “I’d always wanted to visit India, but life and work and then babies meant I never got the chance. I never imagined I’d have the opportunity just as I was reaching my half-century. Or that




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Caroline’s latest TV show involved a tenweek tour of India


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y star chat y

I’d get the chance to share the experience with an audience.” As she points out, she’s the happy beneficiary of a new TV trend that sees celebrities jetting off to various corners of the world and making a documentary about their experiences. “It’s all the rage to see famous people in hot air balloons over the Masai Mara or kite surfing in South America or saving an animal somewhere,” she smiles. “So when ITV asked me if there was a documentary I’d like to make to coincide with my 50th year I immediately thought of India. The next thing I knew I was on the plane and, though I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, I was heading for the adventure of a lifetime.” That programme will be shown as a three-part documentary, Caroline Quentin, A Passage Through India. Filmed over ten weeks, it’s an epic 3,500-mile journey that starts in the far north of the sub-continent and ends at its southernmost tip. It incorporates such varied locations as the stunning open landscapes of the Kanha National Park as well as the bustling city of Mumbai. “It isn’t until you do the journey that you realise how vast the country is – at least 17 times the size of Britain – and also how diverse. But absolutely everywhere I went I met the most amazing clever, funny, well-educated people. I hope the programme is as much a tribute to them as it is to the country that they live in. ” In her quest to find the real India, the much-loved star,

There’s plenty of space for Caroline’s dogs on her Devon farm

famous for her wit and warmth, plunges headlong into Indian society, staying not in luxury hotels but with real families. “I wanted to get to know real Indian people and to hear their stories. I also wanted to challenge my own and other people’s preconceptions about the country, the culture and the people. It was a total eye-opener.” Now home again at the beautiful farm in Tiverton, Devon,

that she shares with her husband Sam and their two children, Emily (11) and Will (7), it’s clear that she’s happy to be back in the bosom of her family. “The hardest part of the whole trip – and the only downside really – was being separated from them. That was agony,” she admits. It was fortunate that the family were able to come out to India for a couple of weeks, during which time Caroline took a break from filming. “Poor things – when they arrived at the hotel I was so happy to see them that I sobbed in the lobby. How embarrassing,” she laughs. “It wasn’t even elegant crying, it was proper sobbing! Then when they were going home Sam said, ‘Please don’t come to the airport, Caroline – the children won’t be able to stand it!’ But I don’t make any apologies for how much I love my kids. They really are the absolute centre of my universe.” In recent years, of course, the actress has cornered the market in roles that reflect the nature of modern motherhood. She played a divorcee coping with kids in Life Begins, and the matriarch of

Caroline shares a secret Psst… “When we got to the end of week three of filming I was congratulating myself on not having got ill, when all around me the crew were falling like flies. Then it struck me – the most ghastly and virulent bout of Dehli-belly imaginable. I was poleaxed for about five days, but still trying to carry on filming. Eventually, I pumped myself full of antibiotics that my very clever doctor had given me before leaving England and I recovered. But if you see me looking a bit green around the gills in some of the scenes in the documentary you’ll know exactly why!” YOURS

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❝Behaving badly keeps me young❞



23/2/11 16:56:34

Recharge your


f you dread getting caught short, you’re not alone. Nine million people in the UK experience some kind of bladder weakness according to the Bladder and Bowel Foundation. The most common types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence associated with overactive bladder (OAB). Stress incontinence is when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent leakage under pressure (eg sneezing and coughing) whereas OAB is when you get a sudden unstoppable urge to go to the loo. OAB can cause urge incontinence, where you don’t get to the toilet in time and nocturia, when you need to visit the loo at night. Follow these tips to regain your bladder confidence.


7ways to...

take back control Don’t let your bladder problems put your life on hold – take control today By Michelle Nightingale


See your GP

Most people assume that bladder weakness is an inevitable part of ageing and that nothing can be done, but actually there are lots of different treatments available to manage your condition. Don’t be afraid to speak to your GP about the different options – from pelvic floor exercises to medication.


Only go when you need to

Try not to get into the habit of going to the toilet ‘just in case’ as this will only encourage you to go to the toilet more often than you need to. Instead, wait and go when you feel that your bladder is full. However, it’s always a good idea to make a mental note of the nearest loo whenever you’re out and about – if only to give you peace of mind. 52



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Retrain your bladder

Training your bladder to hold more urine and become less overactive isn’t easy, but with a little determination you could control your symptoms. Start by making a note of the times that you need to go to the toilet each day and try to hold on for a little while longer before going. Ignore the feeling as long as possible and gradually increase the length of time in-between. It will take weeks, rather than days, so stick at it.

In association with Astellas Pharma Ltd

25/2/11 11:58:00

y health matters y

Too shy to share

like all of your muscles, your pelvic floor muscles need exercise to keep them strong and this in turn will help improve bladder control. To find them, first imagine you’re trying to stop yourself passing wind by squeezing your muscles up and in. Next, squeeze as though you’re stopping yourself mid-flow. Finally try squeezing both at the same time, but make sure you squeeze only those muscles and aren’t clenching your legs together or moving your bottom.


Exercise your pelvic floor

Don’t exercise your pelvic floor by stopping mid-flow on the toilet, as this could lead to further bladder problems. Instead, wait till you don’t need to go, then sit with your knees slightly apart and slowly pull up your pelvic floor muscles hard, holding for as long as you can. Rest for four seconds then repeat. Build up gradually until you can do ten slow squeezes, holding for ten seconds with four-second rests.

Sit with your knees slightly apart and slowly pull up your pelvic floor muscles... hold as long as you can


Limit caffeine and alcohol

cut down on caffeine and alcohol as both are thought to have a diuretic effect, so they encourage the formation of urine in the kidneys. However, don’t limit your intake of fluids as not drinking enough will irritate your bladder and risk an infection. aim to drink six to eight glasses of fluid every day.


You’re not alone

The ‘a Matter of Urgency campaign’ is working to raise awareness of OaB. Visit and you’ll find informative videos from TV doctors Dr christian Jessen and Dr Dawn Harper. as well as seeking help from your GP, The Bladder and Bowel Foundation has a wealth of information online at and also a specialist helpline, 0845 345 0165. The ‘A Matter of Urgency’ campaign is funded by Astellas Pharma Ltd. Date of preparation: January 2011. Job code: VES11068UK

with Dr Christian Jessen I recently began a new relationship but I’m embarrassed because I often have to get up in the night to go to the toilet. Is this normal for a woman of my age? I’m only 50!


Dr Christian says: Waking up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, no matter how many times you get up, is something which doctors call ‘nocturia’. although there are many causes of nocturia, if you have other symptoms like urgency, and needing to go to the toilet frequently during the day as well as at night, this could mean that you have an overactive bladder (OaB), and you should make an appointment to see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with OaB, don’t be embarrassed about it. One in five people in the UK aged over 40 have the condition and it’s one that can affect anyone at any time in their life. It is considered normal to go to the toilet up to eight times a day, so if you are going more often than that you should speak

OAB is more common than arthritis, angina or diabetes to your doctor. In the meantime don’t reduce your fluid intake as it is really important that you remain hydrated. You should be aiming to drink around 1.5 litres of fluid each day, not necessarily just water. However, you should make sure you are drinking caffeine in moderation as it can be a stimulant that can make you go to the toilet more often if you drink more than five cups of tea, coffee or caffeine-based drinks a day. You could also try doing some pelvic floor muscle exercises as these will strengthen bladder muscles to help overcome the urgent need to go to the toilet. To find out more about the condition why not visit our information website The ‘A Matter of Urgency’ campaign is funded by Astellas Pharma Ltd.



Find your pelvic floor

Date of preparation: Dec 2010. Job code: VES10526UK


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25/2/11 11:58:13



Be prepared, whatever the weather, with our pick of the prettiest, most flattering macs for every shape, size and budget By Michelle Nightingale

D A softer alternative to black Navy polka dot short mac, £45, sizes 12-24, Bonmarché

Our model Ali (size 14) wears: purple mac, £45, sizes 12-24 Bonmarché; stretch jeans, £38, sizes 8-18, Jasper Conran at Debenhams; necklace, £15, Wallis; drop earrings, £4, Daisy Eve at Evans; umbrella, £7.99, New Look. D Great for tall frames Green mac (item code 3P15319), £40, sizes 6-32, Isme 40



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Style notes

(come rain or shine) D Perfect for warmer days monochrome 3 ⁄4 -length sleeve mac (item code EY87818), £45, sizes 6-32, Isme D Flatter a bigger bust Bright turquoise belted mac, £45, sizes 12-32, marisota

D Revamped classic Beige trench-style mac, £75, sizes 6-20, Next

D Great for evening Striped mac, £80, sizes 8-18, J by Jasper Conran at debenhams

D For all shapes Belted mac, £55, sizes 6-22, Next (tall and petite sizes available)

D Perfect for petites Pink single-breasted mac, £35, petite sizes 6-16 (tall, regular and plus sizes also available), Next StockiStS: Bonmarché 01924 700100; Debenhams 0844 800 8877; Evans 0845 121 4516; Isme 0844 811 8112; Marisota 0871 231 2000; New Look 0500 454 094; Next 0844 844 8939; Wallis 0844 243 4320. Details correct at time of going to press

YOUR110-40-41 fashion macs.indd 41




25/2/11 12:10:29



By Claire Williams



s soon as Pat Murphy hears the post come tumbling through the door of her Solihull home, a wave of excitement comes over her. Scouring the letters, she notices a package from Canada. “I’ve got another one!” she cries out to her husband Michael (67). As Pat (65) excitedly opens the package, she pulls out a beautiful, lovingly hand-knitted square. This is just another of the carefully knitted swatches that will make up a blanket for her newborn grandson, Luke. Relatives as far away as Canada have been contributing to a blanket that will welcome him into the world and into the family. The tradition of making these unique welcome blankets first came about when Pat’s younger sister Gill (now 54), was pregnant with her first child back in the Eighties. “Gill wanted to make something original for her baby and came up with the idea of a patchwork blanket,” explains Pat. “She didn’t have time to make the entire thing herself, so she asked family and friends who could knit to contribute one square each.” The squares ranged from plain coloured ones to stripy ones and even knitted pictures. Everyone Gill asked to help embraced the idea and many ended up knitting two or three squares. Gill’s sister Pat was one of them. “I thought it was a great idea. In fact, it ended up turning into a bit of a competition between me and my sisters Gill and Chris to see who could make the best square,” laughs Pat. Fast-forward 30 years and more than 10 welcome blankets have been made for every new arrival in the family. Pat has 24


All wrapped up with love Pat Murphy and her family across the world get together to give every new arrival a unique gift even passed down the idea to her grandchildren who she’s already taught to knit. “I put them on my knee and showed them how to hold the needles correctly. They’re all interested in knitting because they’ve all got a blanket of their own. They wanted to find out how they were made.” Pat helped her two granddaughters, Lauren (12) and Grace (6), to make squares for their baby cousin Luke’s blanket. She even got her grandson Joel (7) knitting a few rows. “Each blanket comes with a separate chart that details who made what

square and when,” says Pat. “Every blanket is very personal and tailor-made for that child.” Pat’s daughter-in-law Denise was delighted with the blankets her daughters received. “I think it’s fantastic,” she says. “After being taught by their gran, Lauren and Grace can now knit better than I can!” Once family and friends have knitted their squares they’re all gathered together, some of them arriving by post, and sewn together to make the finished blanket. “Over the years it has been a way of bringing our family together,”


YOUR0110-24-25 Grans matter.indd 24

28/2/11 12:56:55

says Pat. “We don’t get to see our relatives in Canada very often, so receiving the squares they’ve made is very special. It makes us feel closer.” Pat says as soon as they hear someone in the family is pregnant they start planning another blanket. And she hopes the next generation will carry on this crafty tradition. “Our mother and grandmother taught us all to knit, so we’re just passing down the same skills,” says Pat. Pat’s older sister Chris (69) agrees. “I’ve got my daughter into it and although my granddaughter is only three, I hope to teach her how to knit one day,” she says. “It’s sociable too. When we’re all working on a blanket we like to get together at someone’s house and have a knitting party. ”

D To buy a welcome blanket instruction booklet or find out more, call Gill on 01223 232025 or visit

Hair-raiser I thought your readers might like to see my granddaughter Roisin (2½). Mrs M Eastwood, Blackpool

Hamming it up My granddaughter Jane (6) loves her hamster playing on her head... Charlotte Primrose, Lawford, Essex

Got it licked! Here’s my grandchild Freya Grace (1) having her first chocolate lolly – she loved every bit! Pam Dumbleton, Bedworth, Warwickshire

Small talk Animal magic Jack was telling his grandpa what he’d learned in art class. “If you mix blue with yellow, you get green. And if you mix red with yellow, you get orange.” “But what do you get if you mix black with white?” asked Grandpa. “Zebras,” Jack replied. Margaret Heyes, Liverpool

Taking on the world My five-year-old grandson was was asked by a local junior football club to join in one of their matches. I asked if he knew who he’d be playing against. “Germany,” he replied. B Ryder, York D Send any contributions to the address on page 3. Please ensure that you have parents’ permission to send in photos of your grandchildren. YOURS

YOUR0110-24-25 Grans matter.indd 25



Close-knit family: Pat (65) with Grace (6), Joel (7) and Lauren (12)

With all this handy needlework, the family reckon they’re probably keeping the wool industry going single-handedly! But they don’t want to keep the welcome blanket tradition all to themselves, so they’ve compiled an instruction booklet showing how to knit the patchwork squares and sew them together. “You don’t need to be an expert knitter to contribute,” says Gill. “Every blanket needs plain patches, as well as more ambitious ones. Once you have the basic instructions, you can make any size blanket you like and adapt it as you wish.” Pat recently passed on the instructions to her neighbour who has a grandson in Brazil. “She asked me if I thought she could do one. I gave her the booklet and in a few weeks she’d produced a wonderful blanket. Her family in Brazil were thrilled with it,” says Pat. “We want to pass the idea on because it gives older knitters in the family, grandmothers, and aunts, the opportunity to pass down their skills to the younger generations. As we like to say, the family that knits together, stays together!”

If you have a terri fic photo or hilarious story let us know!


‘As soon as we hear someone is pregnant, we start planning another blanket’

strap y Gr anydstrap kids Gallery


28/2/11 12:57:04

Ask us anything…about money

Give yourself a money make Bank account

In your

50s In your

60s In your

70s & BEyonD

First Direct and Santander offer new customers £100 to switch to their current accounts. The Santander ‘In Credit’ current account pays five per cent interest on credit balances.

Even if you rarely stray into the red, set up an overdraft limit. It won’t cost you anything to set up and will save you fees of £20 or more if you accidentally overdraw. If you travel a lot, research what insurance add-ons are available from your bank. use your bank statements to calculate how much you’re spending each month, and make cutbacks where possible. For holidays, head to noneurozone countries, such as Turkey, Morocco and Bulgaria, and be flexible about dates and times to get the best deals.

Sources: Hargreaves Lansdown,,




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21/2/11 08:28:01


Did you


The British Pound is the world’s oldest currency still in use

f keover at 50, 60 & 70+

as well as spring-cleaning your home, now is a good time to dust down your finances ready for the new tax year starting on april 6. We tell you how you can make your money work for you at any age By Sarah Jagger



Taxpayers should use a cash ISA as their first savings vehicle as they are tax-free. From April 6, 2011, you can save up to £5,340 a year into a cash ISA. Paying less tax means your savings and investments are likely to grow faster.

are you going to have enough money to live on when you retire? If not, you’re still young enough to boost your pension income. Do this with help from an independent financial adviser (look for one in your local phone book or visit

If you owe money on your credit card and are repaying a small amount each month, consider transferring the balance to a zero per cent credit card. Some cards offer interest-free periods of up to 16 months on transferred balances.

If you have a regular income, pay your bills by direct debit each month to keep on top of money matters. Some firms offer special deals when you sign up to direct debit. If you can afford to, take advantage of lower interest rates and overpay your mortgage.

Claim gross interest from any deposit account if your total income is under the new tax allowance of £7,475. For couples, make sure each individual’s allowance is used to the full. Using deposit accounts in joint names can help.

When your pension plan is due to mature, you will receive a benefits ‘offer’ from the provider. Don’t automatically accept this; get free annuity quotes from annuity Direct (0500 506 575 or call Yours retirement Services (0800 915 4711).

when buying anything over £100, it’s worth paying by credit card as it offers protection if there’s a problem with your purchase or the retailer goes bust. Using a debit card for day-to-day purchases helps keep track of your money, but it makes sense to keep a credit card for large purchases.

If you have a direct debit for your energy or phone bills, check if you have overpaid. See if you’re on the cheapest energy tariff possible with the help of Yours Switching (0800 008 7777 www. Savings can be made by bundling your telephone and internet into one package from the same provider.

Take advantage of the increased age allowance at ages 65 and 75. You are entitled to the increased allowance for the full tax year in which your birthday falls. For example, if you turn 75 on December 1, 2011, claim the allowance from April 6.

as many as 1.6 million pensioners might be entitled to pension Credit, but aren’t claiming. If your income is under £132.60 per week (or under £202.40 for couples), you may be eligible. Check eligibility by calling 0800 99 1234 or visiting pensioncredit

Paying off debt is one of the best investments you can make. Repay the most expensive debt first including short-term loans, overdrafts, and credit cards. The main problem with store cards is the exorbitant interest rates they charge. Get rid of them!

If you face financial hardship, age uk (0800 169 6565 or or the Citizens advice Bureau (www. will help you apply for benefits. or use the equity in your home to generate an income: Yours retirement Services offers a free guide on equity release (call 0800 915 4710).,,, Michael Wilson,

Credit cards


Turn the page for Your Problems Solved yourS

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21/2/11 08:28:15

Style notes

Your fashion & beauty starts here

Tested by you

Product: Tesco Derma Intensive+ Anti-Wrinkle Serum (£7.99/30ml) Tester: Linda Millard (63) from Staffordshire The promise: To increase the skin’s natural elasticity, firm and boost the skin, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles too Linda says: This serum was really easy to apply, didn’t drag my skin and absorbed immediately. I loved that it had no fragrance and didn’t feel tacky. After the first application, my skin instantly looked brighter and more hydrated. Long term there wasn’t any visible improvement but the serum was fantastic for brightening my dull complexion and felt really refreshing. Yours verdict: Great supermarket serum, that’s perfect for 3 5 brightening a dull complexion.

When buying a new bra always fasten it on the loosest hook. Over time the elastic will weaken and stretch, but you’ll still be able tighten it by moving along the hooks.

Top tip

1 Great for hydrating… The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-in Moisture Mask (£11/100ml) 2 Fantastic wrinkle reducer… The Sanctuary Time Reversal Face Mask (£2.03/15ml) 3 Best for brightening… Neal’s Yard Rose Formula Anti-Oxidant Facial Mask (£24.50/50g)

Slim down a dress size…

If your nail varnish has gone sticky, add a drop or two of nail varnish remover, put the lid back on and give it a good shake. It will be as good as new!

Star buy... Brighten up your look with this gorgeous Perfection Moisture Lipstick SPF15 (£6) from Marks & Spencer. It will leave your lips feeling super soft and nourished, as well as giving added sun protection.

…with Magi-Fit clothes from Marisota. Designed for real women, each item is designed to sculpt your body and keep your figure looking trim without creating unsightly bulges or restricting your movement. They’re created with figuresculpting tubes and panels that stretch and smooth over any problem areas. We love the shift dress (from £55/ sizes 12-32). StockiStS: Marisota 0871 231 2000 www.; Marks & Spencer 0845 302 1234; Neal’s Yard 0845 262 3145; Tesco 0800 505 555; The Body Shop 0800 092 9090; for The Sanctuary visit Boots stores nationwide or Details correct at time of going to press


YOUR110-37 Style notes.indd 37


the 8-week challenge

Fabulous face masks



22/2/11 16:38:51


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