Editor’s Letter: June Issue

Dear Neighbours,

Every now and then I look back over my back catalogue of editions and re-read my editors letter for a particular month and year; it’s a lovely snapshot in time and a reminder of what was happening in my life at that point – almost like writing a diary, which I regret not continuing with after my teens…life just becomes too busy to make the time, unfortunately. As I flicked through past June issues, where I talk about the yo-yoing weather in 2017 (no change there then!), the 2016 Olympics, and my sky-dive in 2015; it was my opening paragraph in 2014 which made me reflective… “It can’t possibly be four years since the last FIFA World Cup! Where has the time gone?”

And yet here we are again! Another World Cup, signifying four more years of my life have elapsed in a blink of an eye… four years older (and not necessarily wiser!)… two strapping teenagers, now as tall as me… highs and lows within that period of time… and regardless of the particular milestone, it acts as a reminder that time flies and to pause every so often to reflect, appreciate and enjoy each chapter.

That can, at times, be difficult if faced with a challenging period in your life; emotionalskills psychotherapist, Deanna Joyce, provides advice on well-being on page 26 and our health feature this month looks at when ‘Golden Years’ are tarnished by stress, page 54.

With summer on its way, we have tech for outdoor living, page 10; money saving tips for your summer holiday, page 12 and beauty travel buys on page 16.

Gardening expert, Pippa Greenwood, gets creative with containers, page 34 and our interiors feature this issue is on bathroom lighting, page 40.

Finally, we have a family ticket for Bugsy Malone to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 31.

Until next month…

Zoë

Trilogy Junior Active – FREE Month Trial

Northampton Music Festival: Sunday 17th June

Royal & Derngate – Bugsy Malone

New York is in the shadow of the great depression and mob boss Fat Sam is under threat from his new rival Dandy Dan and her gang of hoodlums. As custard pies fly and Dan’s destructive splurge guns wreak havoc, Bugsy Malone, a penniless ex-boxer and all round nice guy, falls in love with Blousey Brown, an aspiring singer.

Will Bugsy be able to resist seductive songstress Tallulah and stay out of trouble whilst helping to defend Fat Sam’s business?

Royal & Derngate’s Youth Theatre and Young Company delve into the jazz age to explore the thrilling, dark and dangerous 1920s American prohibition era with a generous helping of silliness and splurge.

Directed by Ashley Elbourne (The Blue Road, Fame Jr., The Musicians), this fun-filled family musical is packed with well-known songs and will feature Northampton’s brightest up and coming young talent. So, Give A Little Love and join us at Fat Sam’s speakeasy!

Bugsy Malone takes to the Derngate stage from Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 July at 7.30pm, with Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2.30pm, (excluding Sunday 8th July). Tickets – priced from £6 to £14* – can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

* A charge of £3 applies for all transactions over £15. Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Collingtree Park Care Home: Open Day, Saturday 9th June

EmotionalSkills: Happiness

What is happiness for you? What is happiness in any sphere? Well, it’s a passing emotion in my opinion.
If someone tells you the best joke in the world, how long can you laugh for? If something sad happens, how happy can you remain then? I prefer to use the word ‘contentment’. Then if something sad happens you can still be content whilst being temporarily sad. 

Life can be hard and ironically accepting that life is sometimes difficult can prepare us to remain content or congruently balanced. Having a personal way of being that may be subjective, but suits you, is essential but there are general ways of being that are important for good psychological health:
Connecting with other people is essential. Sharing and partaking in a friendly empathic manner will lift your spirits.  

Doing some exercise and keeping moving and getting your heart beating.  
Living mindfully and taking notice of people, places and tasks and being in the moment with those situations will ease regrets and worries. 

Humans are altruistic and have an urge and a reward mechanism to give and do something for someone other than for themselves, so give. 

Discovering and getting engrossed in stimulating challenging activities, whilst setting and meeting objectives and ambitions, satisfies our natural enhancing drive. 

Aiming to be personally measured, grounded and at ease while becoming more self-aware and cutting away façade and pretence can move people forward in an individual manner, enabling individuals to achieve their very own unique contented balance. This lifestyle parameter will also give you a good foundation for being happy… most of the time.”

Deanna Joyce is a degree qualified psychotherapist based in Northampton. If you’re struggling with emotional issues, call 07986 488690, email info@emotionalskills.uk. Visit www.emotionalskills.uk

Spinney Lodge Vets: Snakes & Adders, Not A Game For Dogs

A senior vet is urging pet owners across Northamptonshire to be on their guard as adders emerge from hibernation and pose risks to animals.

Iain Fletcher, clinical director at Spinney Lodge Vets, in Kettering Road, Northampton, has issued the warning after a number of snake attacks on dogs have been reported across the country.
Adders, which are a protected species and the UK’s only native poisonous snake, hibernate over the winter and emerge during the spring. After unseasonably cold temperatures throughout much of April, the snakes are now beginning to make an appearance as the warmer weather moves in.

As a result, Spinney Lodge, which also has practices in Wootton Fields and East Hunsbury, is encouraging dog owners to be aware of the potential dangers and what they should do if their pet has been bitten.
Iain said: “There have been several reported adder bites on dogs in other areas over the past couple of weeks. Adders generally hibernate from October to late-April, waking up when the weather warms up and they can bask in the sun.

“They only tend to bite in self-defence, for instance when they are stepped on accidentally or disturbed by an inquisitive dog but when they do, bites can be dangerous as they can induce lameness, vomiting and changes to the heart beat, blood pressure and breathing rate.

“Visually, bites typically result in swelling which is dark in colour and which can quickly become severe. If your dog has been bitten by an adder you should seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. We will treat the dog for shock and swelling, as well as administering anti-venom where appropriate.”

Statistics show most adder bite cases survive, with one study suggesting less than one in 20 treated dogs died as a result of a bite.

To find out more information about Spinney Lodge Vets, visit www.spinneylodgevets.com

Advice on adders:
1. Your dog is most at risk of being bitten by an adder as the weather warms up and the snakes emerge from hibernation
2. Dogs are most frequently bitten in the early afternoon when adders are most active after the midday heat
3. If you see an adder in your garden, or when out for a walk, it is advisable to leave it alone. The adder is a protected species and it is illegal to harm or kill them
4. If your dog is bitten by an adder, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible – using a tourniquet may cause infection or restrict circulation, causing further complications

Green’s Restaurant: New Menu

Cloudy2Clear: Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up?

Editor’s Letter: May Issue

Dear Neighbours,

After a short family break in France it’s back to the grindstone, and even more so for my son who has his GCSE’s looming. All of a sudden he’s volunteering to do household chores and dog walking duties – anything to divert from his revision schedule! I’m trying not to be a nag as he has to take responsibility for his own future but his overly laid-back approach to his exams is beginning to worry me – I’ll no doubt be a nervous wreck, on his behalf, by the summer… but at least I’ll have a clean house and a well exercised dog!

Deaf Awareness Week runs from 14th to 20th May; and according to the charity Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL), in the UK 11 million of us (1 in 6) have hearing loss. That’s why Deaf Awareness Week, organised by the UK Council on Deafness and backed by many hearing loss organisations, is so vital; page 46.

The Payment Protection Insurance mis-selling scandal has resulted in billions of pounds being repaid to customers by the banks and other large financial institutions, but it’s not just PPI that can be reclaimed. We look at other potential reclaim opportunities in our finance feature on page 50.

Also this issue, we have interiors advice on making the most of a small bathroom, page 10; decorating with dark colours, page 16 and gadgets for your garden, page 30.

Motoring expert, James Baggott, reviews the lesser known Infiniti QX50, which hopes to rival the established BMW and Audi SUV’s when it is launched in the UK later this year. Find out how it compares on page 54.

Finally, five-time Tony award-winning show, Titanic The Musical, sails into Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre – and we have two tickets to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 34.

Until next month…

Zoë