Editor’s Letter – February Issue

Dear Neighbours,

The start to 2020 has already marked a milestone in my son’s (and therefore my) life… he passed his driving test (so one less person for me to taxi around!), and an unconditional university offer means he’ll soon be packing his bags and starting a new chapter in his life away from home. I have had a range of emotions, from being extremely happy and proud, to moments of sadness at the realisation that once he’s flown the nest, that’s an end of an era. My little boy has grown up… and it all happened so fast!

At least I’ve still got a minimum of 3 more years before my younger son departs and I’m faced with an ‘empty nest’. Although, the freedom that offers does sound rather appealing!

Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us; but why do we exchange cards, flowers and gifts with our loved ones on 14th February when the day’s patron saint was a Christian martyr? We take a look back in history to discover its origins, page 10.

If you do like to give a Valentine’s gift, but are looking for some inspiration, other than flowers and chocolates, we have a few ideas on page 14.

If you’re thinking of retiring in the next few years it’s a good idea to organise your finances well ahead of time, so you can consider some of the big issues without feeling too much pressure. Ann Haldon has advice on the essential steps on page 24.

With the increase in electric car popularity, more people are going to need to charge at home. But how do you go about it? Read our motoring feature for guidance; page 28.

In this issue we also have on-trend interiors on pages 36 and 40; growing the perfect potatoes on page 48; and books to get you talking, page 58.

Finally, we have two tickets to give away to see the hilarious and deeply moving production of The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin & Stan Laurel, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 16.

Until next month…

Zoë