Editor’s Letter: September Issue

Dear Neighbours,

My sons always look really smart returning to school, however, it is unfortunately always short-lived! School shoes are normally scuffed within a few weeks due to break-time football games, (also responsible for many a split trouser!), and shirts are normally ink stained within the month. So, despite their protestations, I always insist on a photo on their first day back, just so I can remember the fleeting time they looked pristine, as by the end of the week, typical teenage appearance will have resumed!

With the majority of course/homework now being done on a computer, it may also be necessary to kit your child out with a suitable laptop, which can be eye-wateringly expensive! However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent laptop; see our tips on getting a good deal on page 10.

We also have financial advice for students who are off to start a new independent life at university, page 12; and for younger children we have kid-friendly tech (which keeps the parent in control), including pocket money apps, which can help children understand money management at an early age; page 16.

With the ground still warm from the summer and moisture levels in the soil increasing, September is the perfect time to create a new lawn; Pippa Greenwood shares her expertise on page 20.

The rise of the electric car can’t be underestimated and demand is increasing by the hour, but which ones are best? We’ve put together some of the ideal all-electric cars currently on sale; page 34.

According to the Royal National Institute for the Blind, around half of all sight loss in the UK is avoidable. National Eye Health Week (NEHW) is running from the 23rd to the 29th of September this year, reminding us of the importance of eye health and the vital role regular eye tests play. To support this, our health feature details seven steps to healthy eyes; page 48.

Finally, we have two tickets to see Nigel Slater’s Toast to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 54. Until next month…

Zoë

Northampton High School: Open Morning, Saturday 5th October 10am-1pm

Kumon, Maths & English Tuition – Free Trial

Royal & Derngate: Nigel Slater’s Toast

Toast vividly recreates Nigel Slater’s childhood through the tastes and smells he shares with his mother, culminating in the young Nigel’s escape to London.

From making the perfect sherry trifle, through the playground politics of sweets, the rigid rules of restaurant dining, and a domestic war over cakes, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and… toast.

Please be aware that this production involves food samples being given to the audience throughout the show – if there are any concerns about products and potential allergens, please contact access@royalandderngate.co.uk or speak to a member of staff on the evening of the production.

Nigel Slater’s Toast takes to the Royal stage between Monday 7th and Saturday 12th October. Tickets are 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 applies for all transactions over £15. Does not apply to Groups, Friends or Disabled Patrons, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Trilogy Health & Fitness: Free Month

Spinney Vets: Grass Seed Dangers

A leading Northampton vet is urging dog and cat owners to be wary of the dangers lurking in fields and meadows from grass seeds.

Lisa Bond, Clinical Director at Spinney Vets, in Northampton, said they have seen a number of cases where grass seeds have embedded themselves in between the dog’s toes, or have managed to work themselves inside their ear canals causing head shaking. The embedded seeds will cause pain initially, but could develop into uncomfortable swellings which may become infected.

Lisa said: “Grass seeds are one of the most common problems encountered by dogs in the summer months especially after a hot, dry spell when the grass in the fields has not been cut. We have already dealt with several cases.

“One poor dog came to us with about 50 of them embedded in his fur around his feet and armpit areas.

“Most dogs like nothing more than to roll around in the grass on a sunny day but unfortunately these seeds can cause huge problems for them.

“Removing them can also be a time-consuming process, as the entry wound may need to be explored under general anaesthetic before crocodile forceps, and saline flushes are used to try and find the seed.

“There have been cases of seeds burrowing through the skin and travelling as far as the chest or spine.

“If you think your dog may have a problem caused by a grass seed, you should contact your vet immediately.”

Lisa has advised owners to check the fur around their dog’s feet and ears after a walk and to keep the feathery fur between their toes trimmed to help avoid the seeds from becoming snagged.

To book an appointment, or for more information on Spinney Vets, which also has a newly-refurbished practice at Wootton Fields, visit www.northampton-vets.co.uk or search for Spinney Vets on Facebook.

Editor’s Letter: August Issue

Dear Neighbours,

It’s that time of the year when my food bill for the month doubles and yet the cupboards and fridge are always empty. That’s the problem with having two teenage boys at home throughout the day… they are always eating! I really don’t know how they manage to get through a school day, as during the holidays an hour doesn’t pass without them rummaging in the kitchen, complaining how hungry they are. They’ve normally eaten their days quota by early afternoon… and seeing as though they don’t tend to get up before 11am, that’s quite some going!

Summer holidays provide much-needed rest and relaxation in the middle of our often-busy year and may even be considered essential to our health and wellbeing. They don’t need to cost the earth, but how can you save money without detracting from the enjoyment of this precious time away? We have a few tips to free up some extra spending money, or cash to put towards next year’s getaway; page 10. We also have advice on keeping kids safe on holiday; page 14.

Whether you’re planning a luxurious week in the Caribbean, or going camping in Cornwall, we have beauty products which deserve a spot in your suitcase; page 16.
Going online is a necessity for many travellers. It enables us to get accurate weather predictions, to check flight statuses and to find out about local tourist attractions. So how do you get connected when you’re far from home? Our tech feature makes sense of mobile data and dongles on page 20.

Mindfulness has gone from buzzword to a therapy increasingly prescribed by doctors. So what exactly is it – and who and how can it help? Find out on page 22.
Now that Honda has done away with its diesel powered cars, we review their first electrified SUV, which aims to offer a good mix of efficiency and performance; page 56.

Finally, we have two tickets to see The Woman In Black to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 54.
Have a great summer. Until next month…

Zoë

Green’s Restaurant: Upcoming Events

East Hunsbury Rocks!

We’d love you to join in with rocking – painting rocks, making smiles!

Here is what some of our members have said about it:
– A good incentive to get out for a walk;
– Creating and searching for rocks helps me to
be mindful and switch off from a stressful job;
– Great fun for the family;
– It’s about people, activity, fun and discovery;
– Fun, free and community spirited;
– Finding a rock really makes me smile;
– It gives purpose to my creativity.

If you want to know more, please head over to the East Hunsbury Rocks Facebook page.

We have events planned over the summer, culminating with a rock hunt on Tuesday 3rd September in Grangewood and Penvale Parks.

We hope you can join us!

Spinney Vets: Brexit Uncertainty Means Pet Owners Should Act Now, Warns Leading Vet

Spinney Vets, in Northampton, are warning EU pet passports could be invalid in the event of a no-deal Brexit

A leading Northampton vet is urging pet owners across the county to act now if they’re planning to travel to the European Union (EU) later this year.

Iain Fletcher, clinical director at Spinney Vets, in Northampton, is concerned a no-deal Brexit could scupper the current agreement which allows free travel across the EU for dogs, cats and ferrets with pet passports.

Iain, who is based at Spinney’s hospital on Kettering Road, has highlighted Government advice which warns it could take around four months for pets and their owners to comply with much stricter travel criteria applied to non-EU countries.

He said: “The government guidelines say it’s unlikely a current EU pet passport will be valid for travel if Britain leaves without a deal on October 31.

“Transferring to the arrangements for non-EU countries would require all pets receive a rabies vaccination, followed by a blood test at least 30 days later to prove they are immune.

“The pet would still have to wait a minimum of three months from the date of that blood test before they could travel, making the process at least four months in total.

“Owners would also have to obtain a health certificate from their vet, which couldn’t be issued more than 10 days before travel.

“It all means that taking pets abroad could become a long, drawn-out process, so I would urge owners to get their animals booked in with us as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseen delays.”

For more information on the government’s current guidelines on EU travel with pets after Brexit, visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit.

To book an appointment, or for more information on Spinney Vets, which also has a newly-refurbished practice at Wootton Fields, visit www.northamptonvets.co.uk or search for Spinney Vets on Facebook.