Editor’s Letter – November Issue

Dear Neighbours,

I’m very proud to be celebrating 10 years since the very first issue of The Hunsbury Handbook! Within that time the magazine has doubled in size, which is thanks to you, the readers, for supporting me and our local businesses. It’s always been important to me to achieve the right balance of content, in order to maintain your interest and provide maximum exposure to the local businesses advertising their services. I’m extremely grateful for all the positive feedback I receive from you, which makes it a pleasure to produce and distribute the magazine each month. So here’s to many more years to come!

With November 2018 marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, we take a look at the history of the humble, but striking poppy which signifies hope and remembrance; page 10.

Our interiors feature this month, focuses on hallways – an area which is often overlooked, but which is the first internal impression of your home. Read how to combine good-looks with functionality, on page 14.

Christmas will soon be upon us so it’s well worth getting organised now to ensure the lead up to the big day is as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. I normally make a start in the ‘Black Friday / Cyber Monday’ promotions, however, it’s worth doing your homework beforehand to ensure the deals are genuine; read page 38 for more advice.

We also have gift ideas for those looking to become healthier and happier in the New Year, page 42 and ways to make Christmas extra special for young children, page 46.
Finally, we have a family ticket to see The Worst Witch to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 30.

Until next month, when we’ll have even more festive advice and gift ideas.


Northampton High School: Open Day, Saturday 17th November

St Benedict’s Church Christmas Fete – 1st December

Spinney Lodge Vets: Advice To Keep Pets Calm During ‘Fireworks Season’

A leading Northampton vet is offering help and advice to ensure it’s not a time of year for pets to fear, with Halloween and Bonfire Night both on the horizon.

Spinney Lodge Vets, which is based in Kettering Road in the town, has issued a seasonal warning to all animal lovers to help ensure their pets are comfortable over the coming months.

Whether it’s trick or treaters knocking on doors, Bonfire Night revellers letting off fireworks or further seasonal celebrations up until Christmas and the New Year, autumn and winter can be an anxious time of year for pets.

However, Spinney Lodge head veterinary nurse Sarah Wagstaff says there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your pet calm and safe.

“The next few months can be really stressful for pets with Halloween and Bonfire Night so close together,” said Sarah.

“First, there’s the Halloween visitors knocking on doors, which can unsettle pets, then it’s the loud bangs and noises of fireworks from the start of November and beyond.

“There are a lot of things pet owners can do to help, such as distracting animals with active play, the television or calm, soothing music.

“I’d also recommend owners of young dogs who are experiencing their first Halloween and Bonfire Night begin a programme of counter-conditioning with the first firework.

“However, my top recommendation for owners is to remain calm. While it may be tempting to comfort a spooked cat or dog, this can actually be counter-productive. Both ‘mollycoddling’ and punishing a frightened pet could reinforce negative behaviour. If owners appear to be unaffected, pets will follow this example.”

Spinney Lodge, which also has practices in Wootton Fields and East Hunsbury, is offering a free nurse clinic for advice on keeping pets safe during fireworks season.

For more information, visit http://www.spinneylodgevets.com/, call 01604 648221 or search ‘Spinney Lodge Vets’ on Facebook.

Fire Shouldn’t Be The Fright On Halloween Night

Halloween festivities mean autumn can be a hectic, but fun-filled time for families.

These celebrations can also make it a busy time for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), particularly when important safety practices are neglected.
Everyone at NFRS hopes that people across the county have plenty of fun during Halloween parties and organised events, but also would like to remind them to please stay safe.

District Liaison Officer Tina Collett said: “It’s so lovely to watch children having fun at Halloween, but families will be able to relax and have more fun if they know everyone has taken the right safety precautions.

“Please be aware of the risk that fire poses to Halloween costumes and be careful how you dress to mark the spooky day. It is very important to keep these costumes, whether handmade or shop bought, well away from any flames as many materials can be flammable.”

To help people stay safe this Halloween, NFRS is providing some important safety messages to remember when enjoying the fun of the season.
Halloween safety tips:

1) Stay away from candles, such as in pumpkins. Avoid using real candles in pumpkins. Battery operated lights are the safer option.
2) Costumes can be flammable. When buying them, look for labels which say flame retardant.
3) Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. This is dangerous, especially when they are crossing roads. Consider using face paints instead.
4) Plan your trick or treat route beforehand. Only go to houses where you or your friends know the residents. Always go in groups.
5) Remember that eggs and flour are for baking. Don’t allow children to take these items out and don’t throw them.
6) Ask children not to eat any sweets or other treats they are given until they get home. Check their treats before they eat any. Sweets and foods still in their original wrappers are safest.
7) Remind everyone to respect posters displaying ‘no trick or treat’.
8) If clothes do catch fire, remember to ‘stop, drop and roll’. Don’t run around as you could make the flames worse. Lie down and roll around as this then makes it harder for the fire to spread. Smother the flames with a heavy material like a coat or blanket.

Barking Mad – A Host’s Point Of View

7 years ago l saw Shirley’s advert for dog hosts, since then l have looked after over 80 different dogs, some coming back more than once. It’s great to hear their owners request that you look after them again, you do get attached and some become favourites.

The way Barking Mad works is simple. Owners’ who do not want to put their dogs into kennels or have relied upon friends or family in the past, contact Shirley Rands at Barking Mad. Shirley meets the dog and owners then matches the dog to a host family. So, a Springer Spaniel is placed with a host that can cope with a high-energy dog! This brings peace of mind to the owners, with the knowledge that their dog enjoys bespoke dedicated care and attention, being the only dog in the household, exercised and fed, as if it were at home.

Two Black Labradors have stayed many times throughout the year, at New Year they need help because they are frightened of fireworks. A German Pointer brings his cuddly toy, a Springer Spaniel loves his ball and is very good off the lead.

All dogs come with their instructions, when and how much to feed, walking routines and whether they can be let off the lead, etc. They bring their beds, food, toys and poo bags, our home soon becomes theirs. It’s surprising how quickly they settle.

The house feels empty when you are not hosting, but it won’t be long before the next guest. So if you love dogs, but cannot make the commitment to own one, contact Shirley to become a host family.

Carol Edwards

Shirley Rands: 01280 700110 www.barkingmad.uk.com

Royal & Derngate – Peter Pan

Editor’s Letter – October Issue

Dear Neighbours,

The transition between summer and autumn always seems so quick; one week I’m in sandals and the next I’m hunting out my woolly socks and boots. Summer hols already seem like a distant memory and the start of a new series of Strictly Come Dancing signifies the countdown to Christmas!!! Agghh…

Sometimes I just want to slow things down a bit and have time to appreciate life rather than be on autopilot, which seems to be my default setting currently.

With the demands of daily life, achieving the right work-life balance is sometimes easier said than done. National Work Life Week, between 1st and 5th October, is an annual initiative focussing on how employees and employers can improve well-being at work and work-life balance; read page 10 for more information.

Northampton based psychotherapist, Deanna Joyce, looks at the growing problem of psychological tension and shares some interesting facts on page 14.
Tens of thousands of children enter the care system in the UK every year so if you think you can help by becoming a foster carer, read our article on page 16.

If you’re looking forward to Halloween festivities, make sure it stays fun by following the safety advice from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service on page 58.

Finally, we have two tickets to see Rain Man to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 54.

Until next month…


Hunsbury Park Primary School: Open Morning & Afternoon Sessions

Trilogy Health & Fitness – FREE Month On Us!