Editor’s Letter: November Issue

Dear Neighbours,

I seem to be constantly putting the kettle on now that the colder weather has descended – and what always goes hand in hand with a cuppa… cake and biscuits! Due to my lack of will-power at this time of year, I think relocating to a warmer climate would be beneficial for my health (and waistline!); in the meantime, however, I’ll justify the extra pounds gained as good insulation against the cold!

November is the month of big deals, thanks to the American tradition of Black Friday, which has now been adopted by the UK. A perfect time to shop for Christmas presents and benefit from savings, therefore making your money go further – however, ensure you do your research on any items you intend to buy to confirm it is a good deal, and importantly, stick to a list of things you are looking to purchase anyway, so as not to impulse buy. We have some advice on bagging a Black Friday bargain on page 10.

If you’re in need of more gift inspiration, we also have book recommendations, (page 12); presents for young children, (page 16); and new beauty releases, which will make ideal stocking presents, (page 20).

It’s that time of year when coughs, colds and the dreaded flu surface. Flu isn’t new and neither is the flu vaccine – yet every year, come flu season, there’s confusion about them. We set things straight in our health feature on page 24.

We have a delicious and simple-to-make chocolate cake recipe on page 30; serve hot for a perfect winter warmer.

As we head through autumn and into winter, the garden can start to look rather bare. However, although hanging baskets are traditionally a summer planting feature, they can work just as well for the winter months and make even the gloomiest garden look more cheerful; see page 54 for Pippa’s helpful tips.

Finally, we have a family ticket to give away to see the musical adventure, Pippi Longstocking, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 40.

Until next month…

Zoë

Richmond Northampton Retirement Village: Christmas Fayre, 1st December

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire: Community Transport

Royal & Derngate: Pippi Longstocking

Nine-year-old Pippi is strong, brave and fearless. When she comes to live in her new home with her monkey and horse but with no parents and no rules, she brings mischief, chaos and confusion to the folk of this ordinary Midlands town. Pippi takes charge of her own crazy adventures, with her two new friends, Tommy and Annika. What else would you expect from the daughter of a swashbuckling pirate captain?

“Mischief isn’t something you think up, it just happens” – Astrid Lindgren

Adapted by Mike Akers (Peter Pan) and composed by Stu Barker, whose West End and Broadway credits with Kneehigh Theatre Company include Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, this joyful production will be directed by The Wardrobe Ensemble’s Jesse Jones and Helena Middleton.

Pippi Longstocking takes to the Royal stage between Tuesday 10th and Tuesday 31st December. Tickets priced from £11* and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

* A charge of £3.50 applies for all transactions over £20. Does not apply to Groups, Friends, Disabled Patrons or Subscribers and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Spinney Vets: Leading Northampton Vets Offer Sound Advice For Anxious Pets

Pet owners are being urged to prepare for what experts at a Northampton vets have highlighted as the most anxious time of year for animals.

Noisy celebrations such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali, Christmas and New Year are all identified as occasions which cause increased anxiety and stress for pets.

Help is at hand though, as Spinney Vets, which runs free nurse-led anxiety clinics, is also running a Comfort your Pet campaign which is aimed at raising awareness of the challenges of the upcoming party season, while also providing advice, guidance and treatment.

Clinical director Iain Fletcher, said: “This is the most challenging time of year for pet owners as there are so many potential triggers of stress and anxiety in animals coming up.

“There are the bangs of fireworks, the noisy and hectic festive season – including unfamiliar faces and smells – and, of course, the possibility of autumn thunderstorms and earlier dark evenings, which can all cause stress and anxiety in our pets.

“At Spinney Vets we offer free anxiety clinics run by our experienced nurses, who can give you great advice on how to help your pets with any noise phobias.

“The aim of the Comfort your Pet campaign is to raise awareness of the potential problems which may lie ahead, promote the numerous precautions and highlight the effective treatments which are available.

“We will be providing lots of advice and guidance and can offer stress-busting treatments such as Feliway and Adaptil diffusers and collars, which help comfort pets and keep them calm.”

Iain said many owners may also wish to try sound therapy to desensitise their pets prior to fireworks season. “Sounds Scary” is now available to download for free from the Dogs Trust website at bit.ly/SoundsScary.

Now is the time to start as sound therapy needs to begin at least eight weeks before the noisy events are expected to start and then to be continued throughout the year for best results.

The Comfort your Pet campaign begins on Monday, September 30 and runs until Sunday, January 5, 2020.

For more information about Spinney Vets, visit www.northampton-vets.co.uk or search for Spinney Vets on Facebook.

Delapre Abbey – Dates For Your Diary

Forum Cinema – What’s On

Christmas At Royal & Derngate

Editor’s Letter: October Issue

Dear Neighbours,

With the changing of seasons and summer holidays now a distant memory, we are fast approaching the festivity period of Halloween, Bonfire Night and – dare I say it… Christmas!

The shops are filling with seasonal goodies to entice buyers… but I am not making the same mistake as previous years, whereby I’ve made an early start to ‘stock-up’ in an attempt to be organised and spread the cost, only to have to replenish everything when my teenage sons raid the kitchen cupboards (and find my not so secret stash) in the meantime!

During the upcoming noisy celebrations, it’s worth considering the effects on pets as they can become increasingly stressed and anxious. However, help is at hand at local veterinary practice, Spinney Vets, who run free nurse-led anxiety clinics and are raising awareness with their ‘Comfort Your Pet’ campaign; see page 34 for more information.

It’s not always easy to be eco-friendly, but with concern regarding climate change, pollution and plastic waste, it is important to work together as a family to lead a greener life. We have some small steps which can make a big impact, on page 16.

If your skin and hair is in need of a pick me-up after the summer, we have some fast fix remedies on page 24.

Wanting a larger family car? Motoring expert, James Baggott, looks at the best seven-seater cars on sale today, page 28.

We also have advice on fab floors in our interiors article on page 38; and in the garden, Pippa Greenwood has tips on creating a rock garden, page 50.

If you have money left over at the end of each month, or have received an unexpected lump sum, you may be thinking about paying off your mortgage early. Our finance feature looks at whether early repayment is right for your mortgage on page 56.

Finally, we have two tickets to give away for the brand new romantic comedy musical, The Season, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 36. Until next month…

Zoë

Hunsbury Park Primary School: Open Morning & Afternoon Sessions