Christmas Gifts Guides !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Part 3!

Discover the Coffees Featured in The Nespresso Explorations 2018 Box India Mylemoney India Mylemoney is a complex coffee with dry cereal and toasted notes, reminiscent of bread crust. What makes […]

Discover the Coffees Featured in The Nespresso Explorations 2018 Box

India Mylemoney

India Mylemoney is a complex coffee with dry cereal and toasted notes, reminiscent of bread crust.

What makes it so special?

Mylemoney Single Estate sits at a high elevation, near the Bababudan Mountain in Chikmagalur, Southern India. According to legend, India’s first coffee was planted here over 300 years ago with seeds smuggled in from Arabia by a pilgrim named Bababudan, after whom the mountain was named. All ideal factors come together on this farm: 1200 metre-high elevation (considered high for India), rich farm biodiversity, two distinct levels of shade trees, uniquely Indian coffee varieties (descended from the Kent Variety, a Typica offspring) and meticulous processing with selective picking of ripe cherries, eco-friendly pulping, fermenting, washing and drying under natural sunshine. The combination of all these factors make Mylemoney a very special cup – one that is worthy of a place in this exploration.

Nicaragua Las Marias

This Single Estate coffee gem is black honey processed. This enhances the coffee’s ultimate sweetness, revealing fruity notes with a fine acidity that lead to a comforting, balanced and round cup of coffee.

What makes it so special?

1300 metres above sea level, Finca Las Marias was the first Nicaraguan farm to be Rainforest Alliance certified back in 2003. What really makes this coffee stand out is the process used for their coffee and the care its family owners apply. It begins with incredibly meticulous coffee picking. A well-trained team of women pick ‘level 3’ ripe cherries, almost purple in colour, to guarantee extremely consistent harvesting and processing. While Nicaraguan coffee is usually processed by the washed method, this gem is ‘black honey’ processed. This means the mucilage – the sticky fruit of the coffee cherry – is left on the seed during drying. It is so called because in Spanish, mucilage is called ‘miel’ or honey. Processing this way takes an unusual amount of care, but the payoff is that it enhances the coffee’s

ultimate sweetness, highlighting fruity notes and a fine acidity for a comforting, balanced and round cup of coffee.

República Dominicana Valle Del Cibao

This medium-roasted Espresso is praised for its refreshing green notes of fruits and nuts. A touch of acidity and a light body make this a great coffee to discover.

What makes it so special?

Coffee can be found all over the Caribbean, so what makes this one unique? Our explorations –

on site and in the cup – concluded that there really is something different about the Altura de Cibao region, where our coffee is grown. Buffeted by hurricanes in the Caribbean, the Valle Del Cibao lies between two mountain chains. In one of these chains sits the highest mountain of the entire Caribbean,

the Pico Duarte, a gargantuan at 3098 metres above sea level. This giant’s mass protects the entire

region from excessive climate variations, adding a stability that is translated into the cup, making it round and very balanced. Where the islands are generally exposed to the extreme weather of the Caribbean, Pico Duarte shelters this valley, serving as a weather barricade, and provides an ideal growing climate.

The result is that, unlike anywhere else, there is no real defined rainy season; it can rain at any time. This in turn means that there is constant flowering and constant fruiting. The phenomenon yields almost year-round coffee cropping and an unusually long harvesting period. In our estimation, this little hidden treasure is poised to become one of the greats of the Caribbean and Central American region.

Galapagos Santa Cruz

From the Galapagos islands, our experts have discovered an Espresso with roasted and sweet cereal and biscuit notes. This coffee is round, full-bodied and demonstrates some cacao-like bitterness.

What makes it so special?

What allows coffee to grow in the unlikely environment of the Galapagos islands? Firstly, the Humboldt cold ocean current that comes from Peru is driven by cold Southern air, so although the Galapagos islands are at the equator and directly under the beating hot sun, the Humboldt cools things down. Further to this, the Cromwell current crosses from the Western Pacific, bringing rich water-borne nutrients and cold winds with it. This is a location where the north and south trade winds meet, adding to the influences of the Humboldt and the Cromwell. In short, the Galapagos Islands are a hotspot for all kinds of transformative environmental influences. This terroir peculiarity leads to an interesting metric: there is a 5:1 metre correlation between the mainland and the Galapagos. So, a farm at 250 metres above sea level in the Galapagos is equivalent to one at 1250 on the mainland, which is a perfect growing altitude for Arabica.

All Explorations coffees are best served and enjoyed as Espresso (40ml).

The Nespresso Explorations 2018 box retails for R1000.00 and will be available for purchase from 29 October for a very limited period from selected Nespresso Boutiques nationwide, as well as through orders from the Nespresso Club on 0800 637773.

Deck the halls with Lego Baubles!

♪ Fa la la lal la… la la la ♪

From brightly nosed Reindeer’s to friendly Snowmen… festive decorations can come in all shapes and sizes!

This year have some fun and bring a creative style to your holiday decorations with the unique festive ornaments from LEGO.

LEGO Christmas Reindeer Ornament – £6.99

LEGO Christmas Snowman Ornament – £6.99

Shop.lego.com

5 Christmas Hazards Around the Home:

GP’s Advice on How Parents Can Avoid Them

By Dr Tom York, NHS-registered and private GP for GPDQ, the UK’s first doctor-on-demand app

As a doctor, I’m acutely aware of the variety and frequency of accidents which can happen to children, even at home. Every year, more than two million children under the age of 15 will see a doctor following an accident at home. The general chaos of the Christmas holidays can create a range of hazards and consequently injury rates over this period often increase.

My son turns one this month so he’s at the age where everything needs to be explored, tasted, pulled apart and played with. His ability to interact with the world around him seems to change on a daily basis and keeping alert of the new ways in which he could harm himself is a constant challenge.

It’s important to know both how you can protect your children against potential hazards and how to respond should an accident occur. Here are the most common hazards that happen at home, and my recommendations for keeping your little ones safe over the Christmas period:

Choking
In the UK, about one child a month dies from choking. Around Christmas time there’s likely to be a variety of new tasty and colourful items around the house to tempt your tiny gastronomic explorers. Stray sweets, nuts and fruit as well as decorations, small cracker toys and plastic packaging could find themselves within arm’s reach and pose a hazard for adventurous toddlers. Batteries can be especially problematic as aside from choking, they can also cause chemical burns in the throat when saliva creates an electrical current.

How to respond: Every parent should arm themselves with the knowledge of what to do if their child is choking. If your child starts coughing and you can see something in their mouth, try and remove it. It you can’t, encourage them to continue coughing until it comes out. If the coughing is ineffective or breathing stops, you’ll need to use a combination of back blows and chest or abdominal thrusts depending on their age.

Head injuries
Falls account for 44 percent of all household injuries amongst children. My son probably bumps his head at least once a day whilst navigating around furniture but a quick cuddle is usually the only treatment necessary. The worst injuries occur from falls from height or from pulling over heavy objects. Toppling Christmas trees, heavy stacked presents or unsupervised stair climbing can all result in head injuries which may require medical treatment.

How to respond: If your child suffers a head injury, you must see a doctor urgently if your child; has any loss of consciousness, vomits more than once, is difficult to console, is difficult to wake up or is behaving abnormally e.g. not walking or talking as usual. These symptoms could indicate an injury to the brain and require prompt assessment by a doctor. See this useful guide for more information https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/head-injury.html

Burns and scolds
During the dark, cold Christmas period, it’s likely you’ll have radiators turned on, open fires, candles burning, hot drinks being made and food being cooked on the stove. Burns and scolds are very common in children, yet they should be easy to prevent. You should use fire and radiator guards, keep anything hot on a high surface out of a child’s reach and avoid allowing them in the kitchen when cooking. An infant’s skin is much more sensitive than that of an adult’s and heat injuries can cause permanent scarring. I’ve personally known a child to die from a wound infection following a nasty burn so preventing these injuries is not something to be taken lightly.

How to respond: If your child suffers a heat-related injury, the first thing to do after removing the heat source is to run the skin under cool (but not cold) water for 20 minutes. Put clingfilm on the skin to help retain moisture and prevent infection. If the area of skin affected is larger than the child’s palm, appears white or charred or causes blisters, it’s best to go to hospital. Otherwise call a GP for advice.

Trapped fingers
Children sustain roughly 30,000 finger injuries from doors per year and 5 percent of these require surgery. The home environment is full of doors, draws, boxes, hinges and heavy objects which can trap and squash exploring little hands. With family and friends filling the house at Christmas, the usual precautions to protect children can be overlooked and someone helpfully closing of a door can cause serious injury to a tiny finger. The best way to prevent this is by fitting C-shaped foam protectors to doors and child locks to draws and cupboards.

How to respond: If a finger injury does occur, the immediate treatment is to control any bleeding with firm pressure and to elevate the hand. After the bleeding has stopped you’ll need to assess the injury and consider if you need to go to A&E. An obvious irregular angle to the finger, blood under the nail, a large amount of swelling or a deep cut will require an x-ray to see if there’s a fracture or dislocation. If you decide that A&E is unnecessary, it’s important to monitor your child for signs of fever, spreading redness or swelling around the finger and to ensure normal use of the finger and hand resumes after a few days. If in doubt, speak to a GP. Damage to fingers can result in lifelong disability and early treatment can avoid long term problems.

Poisoning
There are more than 28,000 cases of children requiring treatment for poisoning per year. Christmas time may bring additional dangers; such as a relative’s medication lying around, cleaning products such as dishwasher tablets that can look like sweets, Christmas gifts such as cosmetics and colourful alcoholic drinks.

How to respond: Keeping these things out of reach is essential, but if you witness a child ingesting something harmful, the first thing to do is to encourage them to spit it out. You might not see your child drinking something dangerous, but instead notice the symptoms such as vomiting, agitation, difficulty breathing, seizures or drowsiness. If you think a child has eaten something poisonous, try and find out what has been consumed, how much of it and at what time. The more information you can provide, the more accurate the advice that can be given when you speak to a doctor. However, if the information is hard to come by, don’t delay in seeking medical assistance.

Christmas is a time for fun and relaxation. Extra safety precautions and parental vigilance is the best way to avoid an accident spoiling the festive period, not to mention your child’s well-being. However, if an accident does occur, you can always call GPDQ who will arrange for an experienced GP to visit you at home and help restore the merriment to your celebrations.

The Meg – an epic new release from Warner Bros. starring Jason Statham, perfect for him!

A link to buy the film is here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Meg-DVD/dp/B07G7TRJMB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543846080&sr=8-1&keywords=the+meg

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund gives $5 million in grants over

five years to amazing Australians

The AMP Foundation has marked the five-year anniversary of its annual awards program, the Tomorrow Fund, which has provided $5 million in funding to 230 Australians doing extraordinary things.

During the past five years, the Tomorrow Fund has received more than 10,000 applications and provided grants to Australians from Tully to Sydney, Roebourne to Melbourne.

Known as AMP Tomorrow Makers, the people awarded grants from the AMP Foundation are making a difference in fields as diverse as science, social innovation education and sport. Their goals are equally as varied from a 10-year-old budding scientist hoping to one day cure mitochondrial disease, to a 73-year old advocate for senior Australians.

In 2018, the fifth year of the program, 43 Australians shared $1 million in grants to help them continue working on projects and passions that benefit the community.

The 2018 recipients include scientists, educators, social entrepreneurs, artists and athletes. They include:

Harry Clist, the 14-year-old who was named 2017 Wheelchair Sports NSW Rookie of the Year is also looking to represent Australia playing wheelchair rugby

Hannah Nawirridj, is an 11-year-old gymnast extraordinaire and the first Indigenous gymnast to compete at the nationals. She is looking to realise her dreams and compete at an international level for Australia

Taylor Watt, at 15 Taylor left her home and school to participate in a soccer excellence program in Brisbane. The hard work and sacrifice is paying off, with the 16-year-old playing in the National Premier League as part of the under 18s Western Pride team and nearing her dream of joining the national W-League and the Matildas

Nick Marshall, established the Albatross program – a program for kids with special needs to participate in the Nippers program in Queensland. He is taking his Albatross Nippers to Queensland state surf-lifesaving championships and is the first time kids with special needs will be participating in a lifesaving event

Helen Liondos, Head of Sustainability and the AMP Foundation, said: “This year’s recipients are truly inspiring and many have been motivated by very personal experiences to help others. Several are motivated by the loss of loved ones to fight disease and support others going through hard times; while others are inspired by their personal stories to tackle social issues such as bullying and unemployment.”

“There are so many Australians looking to achieve great things for our community. However, many find it difficult to access any funding. The Tomorrow Fund has been designed to help them access support.”

“The diversity of this year’s Tomorrow Makers once again demonstrates the talent and innovation that exists in our community. The beauty of the Tomorrow Fund is that the funds can be used for a range of things to help people achieve their goal – whether it’s a vital piece of equipment, training or travel. That flexibility can foster agility and innovation.”

2017 Tomorrow Maker Lana Borg, who founded non-profit Mama Lana’s Community Foundation to feed the homeless in western Sydney, agrees.

She said: “The AMP Tomorrow Fund meant everything to us. It’s helped us to move into our own premises in Penrith so now we can serve meals to people doing it tough with dignity and respect, rather than in a carpark.

“This grant was validation that, although Mama Lana’s is a small organisation, it plays a crucial role in our community. AMP’s Tomorrow Fund gave us a boost at the right time and has enabled us to more effectively help others.”

For the full list of 2018 Tomorrow Makers, as well as profiles and videos, visit ampstomorrowfund.com.au.

Secret Santas that could get you the sack

Businesses reveal the most inappropriate presents that have been shared for the festive gift giving tradition

Thinking of getting your colleague an adult toy, grow your own girlfriend or edible underwear at this year’s office Secret Santa? Then think again.

Cheeky Brits have unsurprisingly put adult toys at the top of the inappropriate gift list but new research* from Citation has also revealed the more random presents that have gotten people placed on Santa’s, and the HR department’s, naughty list.

From hundreds of companies’ responses, the worst Secret Santa fails included:

A set of cards containing ideas for ‘Things to do before you die’ given to an older member of the team
A religious person not of the Christian faith received a mug with ‘Look busy Jesus is coming’ written on it
A toy voodoo doll which allowed you to stick pins in your manager or supervisor given by another manager
A deodorant and a bar of soap given to a colleague in a reference to body odour
A collection of dental products to imply a person’s bad breath
A diet cookbook which an employee took offence to
A prank in which someone had faked a dog rehoming certificate and let them believe they were waiting for a new pet
A female colleague (accidentally given the wrong present) opened a nasal hair trimmer
The research from the employment law specialists also revealed that smutty gifts are most likely to offend a colleague, with workers believing the top five most inappropriate presents a person could buy are:

Products of a sexual or rude nature
Underwear
Deodorant or personal hygiene products
Anything personal to someone’s religion or culture
Healthy cook book
Gillian McAteer, Head of Employment Law at Citation said: “Secret Santa is more popular than ever in the workplace and when we asked 650 companies if they wanted it banned, 92 per cent said no but admitted that they didn’t know the legal risks it could bring to their business.

“It may be obvious to some which presents go too far, but what people find funny or class as ‘banter’ is subjective, so employers do need to give some clarity, or they could find themselves facing team discord, grievances or even lengthy tribunal cases.”

With 95 per cent of companies admitting to having no policy, it’s time they put a Secret Santa guide to gifting on their HR Christmas list.

29 per cent of the businesses surveyed also believe that the Secret Santa tradition causes employees to feel worried or pressured.

For more information visit https://www.citation.co.uk/

Give a ferry special gift this Christmas

The much-loved Manchester Ship Canal Cruise gift voucher is back and is available to redeem on any cruise date in 2019 – the 125th year since the canal opened

An unforgettable experience could be hidden underneath the Christmas tree for your loved ones this festive season, thanks to Mersey Ferries and its popular Manchester Ship Canal Cruise vouchers.

A 2019 voucher is an ideal present for those who love to take in the sights and enjoy quality downtime on a relaxing day out. Cruising along the world-famous canal is a wonderful experience which creates lasting memories to cherish throughout the year.

And a voucher for the 2019 sailings will allow passengers to become part of a significant year in the canal’s history, as it celebrates 125 years since its opening.

When the canal was opened by HM Queen Victoria in 1894, it immediately became the largest river navigation canal in the world and spearheaded deep-sea shipping into the heart of Manchester.

Today, the Manchester Ship Canal Cruises travel 35-miles along the famous waterway taking in its rich history and spectacular scenery, leaving passengers with an overwhelming appreciation of how the canal’s construction shaped the North West of England.

During the 6-hour cruise, fascinating live commentary from a guide can be heard on board the ferry, giving insight into the most famous engineering wonder of the late Victorian age.

On board, there is a bar selling light snacks and refreshments.

The gift vouchers are priced at £44 each and come with a presentation wallet. The vouchers can be exchanged for a ticket on any scheduled cruise during 2019. Cruises are suitable for guests aged 16 and above and must be booked in advance. At the end of the cruise your loved ones will be picked up to make their return journey by coach to their departure point.

For further information about the Manchester Ship Canal Cruise gift vouchers please visit www.merseyferries.co.uk/giftvouchers

MY Furniture introduce bold colours perfect for Spring Interiors

The stylish Daphne chair has been catapulted into Spring, with nine gorgeous new fabric coverings from renowned fabric & wallpaper designers, Harlequin.

Bursting with colour and style, these beautiful new lounge chairs from MY Furniture are just the thing to inject some life into your home, after the dreary Winter season. With bold florals, snazzy geometrics and painterly effects, they are right on trend and sure to cheer up any room, be it a lounge, bedroom or study.

As well as looking the part, they are also exceptionally comfortable with a large wrap around back, deep plush cushioning and solid ash legs, which are all stained in a complementary colour depending on the fabric. Each of these stunning fabrics have been selected for their bold eclectic designs and work perfectly with the contemporary style of the Daphne Chair.

Also new and following our colourful Spring theme, are the beautiful Alveare tub chairs. Now available in two fabulous zesty colours, Ochre and Orange velvet, these statement chairs feature laser-cut hexagonal detailing, giving a nod to American mid-century furniture. Choose from a Brass, Copper or Silver frame to co-ordinate seamlessly with your other furnishings.

Alveare Tub Chair Orange
£349.99

Alveare Tub Chair Ochre
£349.99

Daphne Chair in Floreale Fuschia
£399.99

SONY PICTURES INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS AND FILM4 WRAP PRODUCTION ON MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM’S LATEST COMEDY GREED

STARRING STEVE COOGAN, ISLA FISHER AND DAVID MITCHELL

Sophie Cookson, Shirley Henderson, Asa Butterfield, Sarah Solemani, Shanina Shaik, Dinita Gohil, Asim Chaudhry, Pearl Mackie, Jonny Sweet and Stephen Fry round out cast

LONDON, December 5, 2018 – Today, Sony Pictures International Productions (SPIP) and Film4 announced they have wrapped production on BAFTA-winning director Michael Winterbottom’s Greed. The film stars Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Steve Coogan (upcoming Stan & Ollie, Alan Partridge, Philomena), alongside Isla Fisher, BAFTA-winner David Mitchell with Sophie Cookson, Shirley Henderson, Asa Butterfield, Sarah Solemani, Shanina Shaik, Dinita Gohil, Asim Chaudhry, Pearl Mackie, Jonny Sweet, Ollie Locke and Stephen Fry. The satire is co-written by Winterbottom and two-time Emmy Award winner Sean Gray (“Veep,” “The Thick of It”), and is produced by Melissa Parmenter (The Trip film & series, The Look of Love) for Revolution Films and DJ Films’ Damian Jones (Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Dad’s Army).

Greed is the fictional story of a retail billionaire, set in the glamorous and celebrity-filled world of luxury fashion, which is centered around the build up to a spectacular 60th birthday party in an exclusive hotel on the Greek island of Mykonos. Sony Pictures International Productions will release the film worldwide in late 2019.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to be teaming with Film4 for this picture,” said Laine Kline, Head of Sony Pictures International Productions. “Damian, Melissa and Michael have done an astronomical job assembling a brilliantly talented comic ensemble for this hilarious satire.”

Film4 Head of Creative Ollie Madden adds, “We can’t think of anyone better to take on the excessive world of business moguls and the super-rich than Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan. Together with Sean Gray, a great production team and brilliant ensemble cast, we know they’re going to make something both funny and with a genuine sting in the tail.”

Winterbottom and Coogan are long term collaborators, with the pair most recently working together on the critically acclaimed third instalment of The Trip series, The Trip to Spain co-starring Rob Brydon. The improvised three season comedy series was inspired by Coogan and Brydon’s semi-fictionalized versions of themselves as portrayed in Winterbottom’s A Cock and Bull Story. Their other collaborations include 24 Hour Party People and The Look of Love, both biopics tracking the rise and fall of entertainment moguls.

The film marks the sixth collaboration between Winterbottom and Film4 who have backed an eclectic range of films from the director’s repertoire including Genova, Welcome to Sarajevo, With or Without You, 24 Hour Party People, and The Look of Love.

Laine Kline and Luke Scrase are overseeing for SPIP. Sony Pictures International Productions is the local production arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. SPIP’s latest film Slaughterhouse Rulez is currently on release in the UK and Ireland. SPIP is also in production on an adaption of Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden are overseeing for Film4. Current and forthcoming Film4 releases include Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Steve McQueen’s Widows and Mike Leigh’s Peterloo.

Language learning soars in Britain as Brexit looms

www.lingvist.com

Data shows greater appetite for language learning in UK than rest of Europe for the first time as the UK prepares for Brexit

5 December, London – As the Brexit deal agreement hits crunch time, data released today shows a surge in Britons learning languages in the run-up to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Figures show that UK users have been using Lingvist, the leading AI-powered language learning application, far more frequently than other Europeans in the last 8 months, as opposed to the first 8 months after the UK’s EU referendum which showed that Europeans were more active than UK citizens.

With 62% of British citizens only being able to speak English, the UK currently has the lowest proportion of language learners in Europe. This year’s A level results showed a huge decline in the uptake of modern languages, and Government statistics show that the UK is losing £50bn a year due to poor language skills with an over-reliance on one language affecting business turnover, profitability and expansion to new market. This new data suggests the UK is becoming more open minded when it comes to foreign language learning as its population prepares for Brexit. This is the first sign that the country is turning its reputation for foreign languages around in light of its decision to leave the EU.

Lingvist looked at how active people are on the platform by counting the average number of learning ‘cards’ used per registered user by region – ‘cards’ referring to the window that appears on a user’s smartphone or desktop to learn new words. They also counted the amount of unique words seen by users in their chosen language. The period up to 8 months following the referendum result in June 2016 saw English to German average numbers higher in Europe than the UK – 530 cards [Europe] vs 447 cards per registrant [UK], 167 words [Europe] vs 148 words [UK] per registrant. However, in the last 8 months, this trend has been flipped on its head and we’re seeing more active UK learners than European learners – 486 cards [Europe] vs 603 cards [UK] per registrant, and 130 words [Europe] vs 136 words [UK] per registrant. This trend was replicated in French, with an average of 180 unique words seen per registered user in the UK as compared to 155 in Europe over the last 8 months; similarly, the average number of cards read per registered user for the French course rose to 595 in the UK, 497 in Europe. They have also experienced unprecedented user uptake from the UK, with growth of 203% in the last 8 months as opposed to just 65% growth in the 8 months after the referendum.

They also found an increase in English-as-source users overseas, recording twice the number of English-as-source users than English-as-target users in Germany over the last 8 months. This suggests that British expats living in European countries are spending more time learning languages.

The overarching trend around these results indicate evolving British sentiments around the subsuming of other cultures, and with anxieties running high in the run-up to Brexit, this data provides a glimpse into UK attitudes around foreign language learning, which has had consistently low uptake in the country.

Ott Jalakas, COO and co-founder of Lingvist, said: “These results are a positive insight into what the UK will look like post-Brexit. Our figures show that there has been a clear evolution from the first 8 months after the Brexit vote, to the last 8 months when it comes to Britons’ appetite for language learning. By extension, this also means that despite the rhetoric around the UK becoming more insular in the wake of the Brexit vote, it is in fact becoming more culturally inquisitive by spending time learning other languages.

“We believe that foreign language skills foster greater relationships for individuals, whether they be personal or professional, and they hold great weight in encouraging international and cultural cooperation, which is why this data is very promising. It is also great to see that British expats living abroad are spending more time learning foreign languages, as we’d always encourage any person living in another country to use a platform like ours whilst immersing themselves in a foreign language and culture.”

Ott Jalakas added: “Despite these encouraging signs, the UK has a long way to go when it comes to foreign language uptake as compared to other European nations. We’d like to call on the government and educational institutions to encourage students to take foreign language courses, to implement cutting-edge technology within their organisations to assist in this, and to promote this kind of technology for public use to ensure that the number of UK language learners continues to rise.”

THE UK’S FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAYS HAVE BEEN DECIDED

Christmas lights feel magical at every age. And what better way to experience them, than by visiting a spectacular Christmas light display? The perfect way to spend time with loved ones and soak up some seasonal cheer, the UK is filled with Christmas attractions and exhibits from late November – December. But which are the best ones to visit?

McCarthy & Stone surveyed 3,000 voters across the country to find out the UK’s favourite Christmas light displays. Stately homes, modern takes on Christmas and Santa-free, nature-focused attractions all made the cut, while garden displays proved to be the most popular. There’s also a Christmas harbour on the list! So, no matter your preference, even a Scrooge will enjoy these picks:

Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire won 22% of the total votes
Christmas at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh won 19% of the total votes
Christmas at Dunham Massey, Manchester won 12% of the total votes
Fenwick’s Christmas Window, Newcastle won 11% of the total votes​​
Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas secured top place, with 22% of the UK’s total votes. The beautiful arboretum is host to five national tree collections,142 champions and a whopping 15,000 tree specimens. Usually, visited during the daytime, visitors can see it in an entirely new light throughout December. Walk along an illuminated trail through the trees featuring interactive displays and breathtaking light spectacles, then head to a charming Christmas fair after. Perfect for little ones and grown-ups alike, each year features new, carefully planned and selected light designs.

Showcasing a British love for greenery, Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden came in second place, with its striking Christmas attraction. Reimagining the immaculately curated gardens, Christmas at the Botanics will take place on selected evenings from the 23rd November to 29th December. This year sees a new trail that includes a cathedral of light, scented fire garden and a festive finale.

National Trust’s Dunham Massey took the third spot, with a vibrant Christmas light display in their gardens and historic building, that appeals to everyone’s inner child. Following a hugely successful first year, Massey’s second Christmas event will feature a new winter trail, a tunnel of 100,000 pea lights and sensory experiences including bubbles on a bridge, a scented garden and singing trees. You can enjoy the experience from the 30th November to 30th December.

Click here to find out more about our nation’s favourite Christmas light displays and discover all the results.

McCarthy & Stone is the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder. To find out more about your nearest development, please call 0800 201 4811 or go to www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk.

High res picture link: Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt Arboretum

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The Budgy Smuggler pop-up is taking place at London’s Old Street Magic Roundabout from 10th – 15th December!

www.budgysmuggleruk.com

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The Australian Brand that has popped up with Princes William and Harry is popping Up in London this December.

Australian swimwear brand Budgy Smuggler, which Prince Harry recently tried on whilst in Sydney for the Invictus games, is popping up in London this from 10th-15th at Old Street’s Magic Roundabout.

The increasingly popular brand has made a habit of popping up with both royal and sporting celebrities alike. On the Wallabies tour of the UK last year, star Wallabies player Kurtley Beale was pictured with Harry’s brother William, enjoying a beer after the international rugby game versus Wales.

The image went viral worldwide with even US basketball star Shaquille O’Neill posting an edited version to his 10 million Instagram followers.

Jimmy Exelby, Chief of UK & European Smuggling says: ‘The royals are extremely popular in Australia and people appreciate that they adopt the local customs. Who knows, maybe it’ll help start a global trend. Our UK numbers have tripled in 2018 and we’ve had orders for our custom swimwear from over 100 UK based clubs this year, including pretty much all the Men’s and Women’s Premiership Rugby teams and many of the Netball Super League teams from our women’s range”

England and Exeter rugby star, Jack Nowell, was one of the early Budgy Smuggler adopters in the UK and has been snapped alongside teammates and family alike in the Australian swimwear.

Jack Nowell says: “They’re a bit of a laugh and I enjoy wearing them when I play. They’ve given me the security downstairs to take my game upstairs.”

Budgy Smuggler has set up a UK based website, BudgySmugglerUK.com and now has overnight shipping available for the UK and Europe.

Visit their Old Street Pop – up at The Magic Roundabout, London EC1Y 1BE between 10th – 15th December from 8am-8pm.

Unique glass plate photography images of iconic lifeboat crews and stations.

Full details here: https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2018/december/04/rnli-pin-ups-help-make-photographic-history

‘RED WINE SPICED LATTE’ IS THE NEW SEASONAL WARMER SET TO TAKE THE NATION BY STORM

‘Red Wine Spiced Latte’ is the latest drinks trend to hit the UK, seeing a unique and bold twist on coffee lover’s drink of choice

www.apothic.co.uk

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With the colder months creeping up, Apothic Red has created a simple-to-follow recipe encouraging the nation to make the most of their Red Wine this Autumn and Winter

Apothic Wine has created a unique way for Brits to combine their favourite Red Wine and go-to coffee this Autumnal season – introducing the Apothic Red Wine Spiced Latte – offering a delicious twist on the nation’s favourite tipples.

As Brits spice up their drink choices this Autumn, coffee enthusiasts are constantly looking for new and improved ways to enjoy their latte. Apothic has taken this one step further by combining both Red Wine and coffee as a hot new offering for the colder months.

Apothic Red boasts notes of sweet cherry, hints of mocha and brown spice. Using a unique blend of dark grape varieties, offering distinctive tastes, Apothic Red Wine Spiced Latte is the perfect tipple to enjoy as the dark autumnal evenings set in. It is made using six simple ingredients and the recipe can be viewed here on video or followed below.

INGREDIENTS

Apothic Red Wine Syrup:

750ml of Apothic Red
300g caster sugar

Blend per Latte:

1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 ½ tbsp Apothic red wine syrup
1sp pumpkin spice
30ml hot espresso
250ml whole milk
1sp cinnamon sugar

Method

In a large saucepan heat Apothic Red Wine with the caster sugar, stirring all the time, to make a syrup. Leave to cool and place in a sterilised bottle- this will keep in the fridge for ages!
To make the individual latte fill a mug with pumpkin puree, Apothic Red Wine infused syrup and pumpkin spice. Add espresso and stir together to combine.
Meanwhile, heat the milk and froth it using a milk frother- alternatively, if you have a French press, you can add the milk to this and push the plunger up and down a few times to create a fine foam.
Pour this over the syrup mixture and stir to combine, top with whipped cream then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve.

For more information on Apothic Wine please visit www.apothic.co.uk. Available from all leading supermarkets – RRP £10.

Christmas Presents Ideas from Felistar! Flip Flops for Women/Men,Unisex Sandals & Felistar Womens Slippers,Winter Slip-On House Indoor Slippers for Women, Memory Foam, Fluffy,Soft & Comfortable Slippers

Here’s the promo link:
https://amzn.to/2QUmz8z
Promo code is: FELISTAR30G
You can get 30%off!

On amazon HERE for Flip Flops & HERE for Slippers which are Fluffy & Soft

 

Eco-Freindly/Prop65 Tested: Made with Environmental Synthetic Material.Normal smell. Firm&Sturdy: Embedded System Design for the upper with adding extra pad under middle of the thong,No felling apart problem,durable slipper.

See more at > www.amazon.com/dp/B07BLMSQ73

“Such a great present I received recently, superbly made and arrived so promptly!” Intouch rugby Footwear Editor!

Size Suggestion: Always order ONE SIZE UP for correct fitting.If your size is between 10 1/2 and 11,then just order size#12 will be good.The flip flops are not suitable for width feet(Male&Female).
Comfortable Design: Flexible,light weight,perfect for backpack,traveling,and best for relax after climbing hiking,also good for indoor outdoor wearing,beach, shower room,swimming pool,park, garden,courtyard,bedroom,living room.
Non Toxic/Prop65 Tested: Made with Environmental Synthetic Material.Normal smell.Test report will be sent to your email address after you got the package
Firm&Sturdy:Embedded System Design for the upper with adding extra padding for the thong,No felling apart problem,durable&strong enough.
Satification Guarantee :We want our clients to be happy,so just in case you feel disappointed with your purchase,don’t bother to return and just keep the products for charity,we guarantee to give your money back instantly.Providing the top quality to all of you is our main priority and our number one goal.

 

Felistar Womens Slippers,Winter Slip-On House Indoor Slippers for Women, Memory Foam, Fluffy,Soft & Comfortable Slippers

See more at > www.amazon.com/Felistar-Womens-Slippers-Winter-Comfortable

KEEP YOUR FEET COZY & WARM! – Unlike the uncomfortable slippers that make your feet all achy and sweaty, the Felistar house slippers are perfect for feet after a hard day’s work! Whether you wear them with or without socks, your feet and toes will remain warm but never sweaty!
FEELS LIKE WALKING ON A CLOUD! – Once you slip these slippers on, there’s no taking them off! You’ll immediately notice how soft and smooth they are, courtesy of the dense Memory Foam material that provides cushion and support for your arches and heels! Try them on and see for yourself!
WALK WITH CONFIDENCE & ZERO CHANCE OF SLIPPING! – Sure, many slippers out there can be comfortable but they can also be dangerous, especially for elderly people. That’s why we have enhanced ours with an EVA layer on the bottom, which provides anti-skid and anti-slip properties and ensures you are always comfy and safe!
THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THAT LOVELY LADY IN YOUR LIFE! – Featuring a stylish, sturdy and long-lasting design and equipped with sponge material in addition to the high density memory foam, these women’s slippers will make the best gift for your mom, granny, daughter or best friend on all gifting occasions, including…her birthday!
LOVE THEM OR YOUR MONEY BACK! – Give our trendy and star slipper design a try and if you are not thrilled with them for ANY reason, simply get in touch with us and we will make it right. After all, your purchase is covered under our 100% Money-Back Guarantee, although it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to need it!

 

OppoSuits and Nintendo level up the Christmas outfit game with a new Super Mario™ suit

www.opposuits.com

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It’s that time of the year again, where all of us are on the hunt for the perfect Christmas present and outfit. Novelty clothing brand OppoSuits & video game giant Nintendo have come to the rescue, with a stylish cult classic’s ode sure to make any man stand out at this year’s holiday celebrations. The suit is now exclusively available at www.opposuits.co.uk for £74,95

Ho, ho, ho – Merry Mario

The legendary video game that got most of us hooked once upon a time, is creatively translated into a wintry, dark blue ‘Merry Mario’ suit with an all over print featuring Mario himself, golden coins, mushrooms, snowflakes and Christmas trees. The outfit, consisting of pants, a blazer and a tie, is a unique reply to traditional formal wear and will most likely find its way into the hearts and wish lists of many fans this holiday season.

Geek Couture

The Mario suit is the newest addition to OppoSuits’ best-selling, ‘geeky’ comic and video games collection, which already consists of official PAC-MAN™ and Tetris™ suits, as well as Star Wars™ and Marvel™ themed suits. The collection will continue to expand; new styles, including a second Nintendo collaboration, are already on the agenda for 2019.

Licensing partnerships as competitive strategy

Partnerships with iconic licensors play a key role in the competitive strategy of OppoSuits, pioneer and market leader in the fun formal wear industry, explains Guus, CEO and co-founder: “The landscape has changed a lot in the last years, with copycats popping up left and right. Being able to work with huge iconic brands like Disney, Warner Brothers and now also Nintendo, is something that really sets us apart from other players and enables us to offer truly unique products to fans all over the worlds.”

About OppoSuits

OppoSuits started out as an idea while traveling through Southeast Asia. Since that moment, the concept ‘formal wear with a fun twist’ was born and grew into a successful adventure. The Dutch clothing company offers attire for men, women and boys, which is being sold around the world via OppoSuits’ own online channels and local costume stores and famous international retailers like Macy’s, Selfridges and Kohl’s. Besides their own designs, the company collaborates with big brands like Marvel, Star Wars and Nintendo to create exclusive products. In just six years, OppoSuits has set up a range of over 100 styles. The multinational now has over 50 employees, working from offices in The Netherlands and New York City.

This compliments the OppoSuits Christmas selection, examples below!

What’s That Smell? is the hilariuous new game from WowWee where taking a whiff makes you a winner. Tipped to be one of the the hottest games of the year and already a YouTube favorite, What’s That Smell? is the new the scratch & sniff party game that stinks!

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

What’s That Smell (TM)


What’s that Smell is the first ever hilarious fragrant-guessing party game that opens up to a world of interesting whiffs. Guess the scents correctly to win or suffer the stinky consequences.
What’s That Smell?™ is the hilariously fragrant party game that grabs you by the nostrils. The new game makes WowWee an official player in the 14+ games market – and they’re not holding back. With over 50 smells from nice to downright nasty, What’s That Smell? is a breath of fresh and not-so-fresh air in the party game category!

In typical WowWee fashion, the brand is using innovation and scent technology to leave its mark on game night. This new “scent-sational” party game is designed to put your sense of smell to the test against friends and family, roommates and work besties – challenging those brave enough to correctly guess scents ranging from roses to rotting garbage…and worse. The winner (aka “Nose-it-All”) gets to pick a player of their choice to suffer the Whiff of Shame: three big whiffs of one of the four outrageously pungent Stank Cards: Extra Old Toe Cheese, Diaper Blowout, Hot Chunky Vomit, and Smothered in B.O.

“WowWee has always been recognised for its technical innovation that has truly revolutionized the entertainment space,” said Dominique Fleurant, Brand Manager at WowWee. “This expansion has been a long time coming for us, and we’re excited to enter this new world of games with an edgy and engaging experience that will truly knock players’ (smelly) socks off – pun intended!”

For added fun, players can download the free iOS/Android What’s That Smell? companion app to track the number of players and sniffing time, earn extra bonus points by comparing guesses with other people who played the game, and record the priceless Whiff Of Shame. The app also provides Stank Card filters and a “don’t-miss-a-revolting-second” slow-mo effect to help capture every second of the memorable reactions.

Available in the UK now, What’s That Smell? includes 48 Mystery Whiff Cards, four Stank Cards and scent-barrier bags, six cardholders, a sheet of Whiff Strips, scorepad and instructions for 2-6 players ages 14+, £24.99rrp.

REVEALED: The UK’s Most Musical Cities

Across the UK and Ireland, we’re incredibly proud of our music scene, and for good reason. Whether you’re looking for rock and roll or funk and soul, house and techno or hip-hop and R&B, there’s something for everyone. But where is the best place to be a music fan?

Leonardo Hotels have analysed 50 of the biggest cities and towns across the UK and Ireland to find out – https://www.leonardohotels.co.uk/blog/article/best-music-cities-uk-ireland

Each city was ranked on a number of factors, including the number of music venues, number of monthly gigs and the average cost of a pint of beer (because what is better than a good night out? A good night out that doesn’t cost the earth).

The figures were adjusted according to population, used to provide an overall ‘music fan ranking score’ for each location.

Manchester took the top spot, with a whopping 249 venues to choose from, hosting an average of 448 events each month. And with a pint of beer costing £3.15 on average, a night out in the Northern Powerhouse won’t break the bank!

Coming in second place was Brighton and Hove. Despite only having 126 venues and an average of 247 monthly events, Brighton and Hove has a much smaller population, meaning there’s much less competition for gig-goers.

For the full piece, including a separate analysis of London’s Most Musical Boroughs please head to: https://www.leonardohotels.co.uk/blog/article/best-music-cities-uk-ireland

T. Anthony Luggage Sets

Setting the standard for luxury travel, T. Anthony, a high-end American heritage brand, offers the finest in leather goods and travel accessories. For the globetrotter in your life, T. Anthony has the perfect carry-on, garment bag, rolling case or duffle to fit their necessities and distant finds. Durability makes T. Anthony the perfect getaway luggage, crafted with hardwood frames, soft-shelled canvas and more leather options.

While T. Anthony is in a class of its own, customize your loved one’s bag with a unique engraved monogram or stamp of their name or initials. Every traveler needs a bag easily identified at baggage claim. For the one-way traveler or for weekend exploits, no trip is too big or small for the stylish travel companion, T. Anthony.

T. Anthony New York, 445 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

For more information about T. Anthony, please visit: www.tanthony.com.

Facebook & Instagram: @TAnthonyLTD

Help keep cats safe at Christmas with these simple steps!

Cats Protection has issued a number of top tips to help keep cats safe during the Christmas period. The festive season can be fun for us all, but offers plenty of new sights, smells and sounds for our feline friends.

Whether the tree is up and decorated, or whether you wait until Christmas Eve, the charity is keen to help cat owners reduce any potential hazards, keeping their cats safe and the tree intact.

Nine top tips to decorating the tree are:

· Keep an eye on the Christmas tree. Cats like to be the star of the show, so some may be tempted to climb to the top

· Display any hanging decorations closer to the top of the tree, out of the way of mischievous paws

· Ensure your Christmas tree has a sturdy base, or secure it with weights to stop it from toppling over

· Real Christmas trees can produce some oils that are toxic to cats. Make sure you pick up any fallen needles to prevent them from ingesting any parts of it and to protect their paws

· Avoid using glass baubles, or any decoration that may break easily

· Always switch off Christmas lights at the mains when you are not around

· Be careful with tinsel – if cats eat it, it can cause serious harm

· Don’t place any presents for your cat under the tree, especially if they contain catnip – it will just entice them further

· If your cat is particularly playful, make sure they are supervised when near the tree

Alison Richards, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer said: “The Christmas period can be a stressful time for cats, especially those who are particularly nervous. We advise making sure they have a safe place to hide, as a house filled with unusual smells and sounds, with lots of unfamiliar people visiting, can be very daunting to cat.

“We also advise cat owners to be aware of poisons plants, such as poinsettia’s and lilies, and foods, such as chocolate and raisons. You may be tempted to give your cat a treat during the festive period but even small amounts of certain foods can be toxic to cats.”

Cats Protection urges people to contact their vet immediately if they are worried that their cat might have eaten something toxic. If registered with a local veterinary practice, people will be able to make an appointment over the Christmas period, as all practices must have an emergency service available.

More information about keeping cats safe at Christmas can be found here https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/cats-at-christmas and an animation on keeping cats safe at Christmas can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr8ljzpMC9M&t=1s

LEWIS HAMILTON IS PETA’S 2018 PERSON OF THE YEAR

Outspoken Vegan Formula 1 Champion Races to Top of Animal Charity’s List of Worthy Candidates

London – For proving how powerful eating vegan can be – and encouraging people around the world to save the planet by ditching meat, dairy products, and other animal-derived foods – newly crowned five-time Formula 1 (F1) world champion Lewis Hamilton has yet another title to add to his list of stellar accomplishments: PETA’s 2018 Person of the Year.

“Lewis Hamilton has proved to be not only a fantastic driver but also a force for good and a powerful ally of animals used for food,” says PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is honouring him for inspiring his legions of fans to follow his lead, jump-start their own energy levels, and spare animals’ lives by going vegan.”

Hamilton, who often speaks about his vegan diet to the international media, has been open about his motivation for making the switch: “[T]he pollution [from greenhouse-gas emissions] coming from the amount of cows that are being produced is incredible,” he says. “The cruelty is horrible and I don’t necessarily want to support that and I want to live a healthier life.”

The F1 champion also regularly shares animal rights messages and photos of protein-packed vegan meals with his 8.3 million followers on Instagram, where his official bio reads, “[Plant] Based Diet. Love Animals.” His social media posts are also packed with pleas for compassionate eating, such as “Please find it in your heart to not support this horrific cruelty and go plant-based!”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – notes that animal agriculture accounts for an estimated 14 to 18 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions and that the United Nations has concluded that a global shift towards vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. Each person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 animals a year and reduces his or her risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and cancer.

Past award recipients include Ricky Gervais, Brian May, and the late Sir Roger Moore.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

Here are the perfect CD’s for those last-minute Christmas gifts and stocking fillers!

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL DISNEY BEDTIME – 2CD

RRP: Under £10.00 and via the NOW App for £4.99 per month

NOW That’s What I Call Disney Bedtime is where dreams and fairytales are made, where princes, princesses, fairy godmother’s, talking snowman and singing animals await.

Those miraculous conjurer’s at NOW Music understand the importance of a magical night’s sleep for both children and parents alike, and with a sprinkle of fairy dust from Walt Disney Pictures NOW have created a spellbinding, or should we say sleepbinding album.

Many of the best loved tunes have been specially recorded as calming lullaby versions, from the cherished delights of Pinocchio’s When You Wish Upon A Star, Mary Poppins Feed the Birds to Dumbo’s Baby Mine and Tarzan’s You’ll Be In My Heart this album will ensure peaceful moments in those hectic times. So, let NOW Music take you to The Second Star to the Right and into a faraway land.

NOW That’s What I Call Christmas is available in physical and digital format and on the NOW app.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL CHRISTMAS – 3CD

RRP: Under £15.00 and via the NOW App for £4.99 per month

What does Father Christmas listen to whilst he is dusting off his sleigh, training new reindeer and keeping his elves motivated? It can only be the UK’s sixth biggest selling album of all time, NOW That’s What I Call Christmas.

NOW That’s What I Call Christmas has been sent to the North Pole via special NOW Music pigeon courier, it has been given the Christmas Seal of Approval from the main man himself and is ready to accompany the country’s mince-pie eating, sherry drinking, and party festivities.

With over 60 Christmas-tingling tracks you’ll be crooning over the dulcet sounds of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, you’ll be swinging from the mistletoe with Mariah Carey, Wham, The Pogues and they’ll be non-stop ball-ball shaking to Elton John and Slade. NOW That’s What I Call Christmas really is three discs of musical gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Let Christmas commence.

NOW That’s What I Call Music! 101

RRP: Under £15.00 and via the NOW App for £4.99 per month

After celebrating its 100th edition, NOW That’s What I Call Music is back with NOW That’s What I Call Music! 101. After a chart-topping Summer the legendary compilation brand returns with the next installment of latest releases and top chart picks and it doesn’t disappoint. With so much NOWstalgia out there we continue to celebrate and look ahead to the next generation of incredible pop picks in the very week NOW celebrates 35 years of memory making (the first NOW That’s What I Call Music! Was released 28 November 1983).

The jam-packed album kicks off with one of the biggest groups and rappers out there Little Mix Feat. Nicki Minaj ‘Woman Like Me’, also included is Arianna Grande ‘God is a woman’, Rita Ora’s ‘Let You Love me’ and Dave & Fredo’s ‘Funky Friday’. The phenomenal two-disc compilation will have you partying long into 2019.

Peter Duckworth, Managing Director said: “NOW 101 marks the start of a new NOW Century in style – with 46 hits celebrating and reflecting the diversity of current music – from Calvin Harris and Sam Smith to Dua Lipa and Bocelli via Halsey and DJ Khaled and music from the smash hit film MAMMA MIA! Here We Go Again. As ever NOW That’s What I Call Music provides the soundtrack of the moment.”

NOW Music App

£4.99 per month. Vouchers from £25.00

From the original curators of pop music comes the NOW Music App, the only app with the most current chart toppers to the nostalgic superstars of the past four decades to the hottest breakthrough artists of 2018, and everything in-between. For only £4.99 a month with no contract and no adverts the NOW Music App is the easiest and most enjoyable way to access music on your mobile. With every NOW album at the tip of your fingers, access to artists back catalogues, playlists for every theme and activity and completely free access to Freemium – NOW’s very own radio station – it’s the easiest way to consume pop music for all the family.

Anxious about what to get your loved ones for xmas this year? How about some well-deserved Headspace?

Headspace, the UK-founded leader in mindfulness, offers subscriptions from just £9.99 for a month, £71.88 for a year, and £119.67 for two years.

WHSmith x Save the Children

Save the Children has teamed up with WHSmith and Tom Fletcher to support Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.

Tom Fletcher has created a limited edition Christmasaurus Book (donating 50p of each sale to StC) together with launching the first ever Christmasaurus cuddly toy (donating £3 of each sale to StC) – the perfect gift for all children!

The Christmasaurus Book £6.99

The Christmasaurus Cuddly Toy £14.99

Available exclusively at www.whsmith.co.uk

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Peppa Pig x Save the Children

Everyone knows that Peppa Pig loves Christmas which is why they are teaming up with Save the Children to support the biggest Christmas Jumper Day yet! Peppa Pig has created the Peppa Pig Christmas Puzzle to spoil your children with and £1 of every purchase will be donated to StC!

Peppa Pig Christmas Puzzle £9.99

Available at www.johnlewis.com/

Daddy Pig Christmas Jumper £24.99

*10% from the sale of this product will be donated to Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day*

Available at Paulton’s Park Gift Shop, the home of Peppa Pig World

Blue/Pink Peppa Pig Christmas Jumper £25.00

*20% from the sale of this product will be donated to Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day*

Available exclusively at www.amazon.co.uk/savethechildren

Beano x Save the Children

Beano have teamed up with Save the Children to produce the below Beano Christmas jumpers where 10% of the profits will be donated to Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day!

Kids Gnasher Christmas Jumper £21.99Adult Gnasher Christmas Jumper £31.99

Adult Gnasher Christmas Jumper £31.99

Kid’s Gnasher Christmas Jumper £21.99

Available at www.Beano.com

How To Customize Your Car With A Personalised Number Plate

For us, cars are more than just a means of transportation, they are our lifeline. We choose a vehicle based on our needs, preference, and bank balance. However, the things get tangled a bit when it comes to customizing your beloved drive.

Customizing your car is a great way to revamp an older vehicle or add a few awesome accessories. And one of those accessories is a personalised number plate.

But what kind of number plate should you need to fix on your car? Here’s the bottom line.

In this post, we’ve listed the types of number plates that you can choose to customize your car, making it a centre of attraction. Let’s take a look at them.

Dateless Number Plates: Want your car stand above the rest? Then, this is something you must consider. As the name suggests, these number plates have no ‘date’ or year mentioned. Because of this, they can go onto any age of vehicle without restriction. Within this category, combinations have between one and three letters and the number range 1 to 999.

Prefix Number Plates: These kinds of number plates are probably the type of private plate you most commonly see whilst driving down the street. The format is displayed like this; one letter, between one and three numbers followed by three letters (usually the driver’s initials). For example, S73 VEN, R4 NDY, etc.

Name Personalised Number Plates: A number depicting your name is great, and most importantly, an affordable way of giving it a little more personality. When you add a name personalised number plate on your car, people will notice you because your vehicle will look completely unique.

Exclusive Number Plates: Exclusive plates are seen as a status symbol and a declaration of wealth. A few examples of exclusive number plates are P 6, JM 2, AH 2, etc.

Custom Number Plates: With custom plates, you can give your car that special name by creating a plate of your choice. There are so many letters and number combinations available that you can create any word of your choice.

If you want make your car stand out, contact Regplates.com today.

The Kidz Bop USA team wrapped up their Kidz Bop Live Tour this month and rocked absolutely AMAZING custom Laney Clothing jackets for the finale. We also LOVE Ahnya’s cat ears from Miss Kathy Accessori.

‘Charity Walk for Peace’ Getting ready to Donate £thousands to UK Charities at Europe’s Largest Mosque’

Thousands of pounds are expected to be distributed amongst hundreds of UK registered charities by Charity Walk for Peace this Friday December 7th. year’s prestigious Charity Cheque Presentation will be held at the Baitul Futuh Complex, Europe’s largest mosque that caters for 10,000 worshippers at any one time as well as being a hub of activity for the local and surrounding communities.

The Charity Cheque Presentation, like previous years, will be co-hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association UK (AMEA UK) and is expected to see MP’s, Mayors, Ministers, Charity and Voluntary Groups attend from all parts of the UK and receive their donations.

The Chairman of the Charity Walk for Peace, Mr. Zaheer Ahmed, said:

“2018 has been an incredible period of time for the Charity Walk for Peace. We have raised an incredible amount of money and the hard work and effort from the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association (AMEA UK) and the Charity Walk for Peace is a testament to their loyalty for their country, to their fundraising efforts and to their overall genuine and humbling commitment to serving humanity and helping make a difference to the lives of so many.”

Dartington Summer School & Festival announces 2019 Course Programme curated by Joanna MacGregor

Dartington Summer School & Festival
27 July – 24 August 2019
Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon

Internationally-renowned Dartington Summer School & Festival has announced its 2019 programme, with Joanna MacGregor as Artistic Director for her fifth and final year.

Joanna MacGregor’s 2019 programme sweeps a broad range of musical collaboration – from early music to folk, classical and jazz – and includes composers and music she has found profoundly influential. Her personal choices include the New York street musician Moondog paired with Bach’s Art of Fugue; Beethoven’s magnificent Choral Fantasy and Piazzolla’s sizzling tango-études; Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw with Tom Randle as Peter Quint, and Saint Nicolas conducted by Steuart Bedford; John Cage’s iconic Musicircus, and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. She has also commissioned Eleanor Alberga to write a new work for large choir and piano, with a text by Alice Oswald.

Joanna MacGregor says:
“It’s been my great pleasure to be the Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School and Festival for the last five years; I bid farewell with a four-week programme brimming with vitality, daring, and joy.”

Collaboration is important to Joanna MacGregor, and among the highlights in August 2019 are multi award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor, the conductors Stephen Barlow, Laurence Cummings and Graeme Jenkins, mixed media performance poet Caroline Bergvall, pianist and author Alfred Brendel, the Škampa Quartet and Harrson Birtwistle’s 85th birthday celebrations – one of Europe’s leading figures in contemporary music.

The detailed public concert schedule for the Summer School & Festival, with over one hundred events, will be announced in early 2018.

Summer School Programme

Week One: 27 July – 3 August

Week One is inspired by Venice, and the wildness of the sea. Andrew Griffiths conducts A Venetian Vespers for Dartington Choir; Stile Antico direct vocal music written for female monarchs and the Queen of Heaven. Alice Oswald presents Nobody, her new long poem inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, with William Tillyer’s swirling, abstract paintings and improvisation with Joanna MacGregor.

Middle Eastern music and song is directed by Merit Ariane and Jon Banks; the popular Palestinian poet and activist Tamim al-Barghouti returns to teach creative writing, along with award-winning French-Norwegian poet Caroline Bergvall. Stevie Wishart establishes her new Advanced Composition course for early instruments, and Joanna MacGregor brings Bach’s last work Art of Fugue together with choreographer Wayne McGregor, and two cult figures of the 1960s – Moondog and his canons, and Terry Riley’s In C.

There are classes for viol players, lutenists, harpsichordists, reeds and recorders, and early brass with Fretwork, David Miller, Jane Chapman, The City Musick and Ensemble Meridiana. The Atéa Quintet and Rhiannon Evans direct a full wind and chamber music programme. The wonderful soprano Emma Kikby and countertenor Nicholas Clapton lead vocal tuition.

Week Two: 3-10 August

Week 2 dazzles with music and politics, alongside folk music, Shakespeare and Ovid. Laurence Cummings directs the Dartington Choir in Handel’s Saul, an oratorio with witches, mad kings, battles and huge choruses. Robert Howarth and Richard Williams direct Handel’s opera Agrippina, a satire on Nero’s scheming court, starring the original Tiger Mother. Contralto Hilary Summers leads the vocal masterclass and Andrew Watts directs vocal workshops.

There’s a full week of folk courses led by renowned teacher Alistair Anderson, folk singer/songwriter Emily Portman, and fiddler Alexis Bennett; Harbottle and Jonas direct Dartington’s Folk Choir. James Runcie leads Creative Conversations, and examines the complete Shakespeare Sonnets; Katrina Porteous creates the poetry of place; there’ll be a multifaceted, late-night Ovid reading.

There are masterclasses and workshops with Richard Tunnicliffe, Andy Watts, Trio Bukolika and Jill Kemp; Steven Devine runs early keyboard classes, and Joanna MacGregor a piano workshop on Baroque dance and Chopin Mazurkas.

Week Three: 10-17 August

A Britten-themed week: Steuart Bedford rehearses Britten’s joyful cantata Saint Nicolas, and American tenor Tom Randle coaches young singers in The Turn of the Screw. Sarah Gabriel directs her new play A House on Middagh Street, where Britten lived with WH Auden, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee; the Advanced Conducting Course opens with a programme of youthful Mozart and Britten.

Week 3 is rich for pianists – with lectures from the legendary Alfred Brendel, concerto classes with Joanna MacGregor and piano workshops with Florian Mitrea – and string lovers, with the Škampa Quartet, cellist Adrian Brendel, violinist Thomas Gould, and Trio Opal. The musical theatre class undertake Calamity Jane and Annie Get your Gun, joined by Drama Centre London; and Latin rhythm blazes with Brazilian flautist Carlos Malta and Adriano Adewale, who unveils his new percussion concerto.

Week Four: 17-24 August

The 2019 Summer School & Festival reaches a climax with Britten’s chilling opera Turn of the Screw starring Tom Randle, The Passion of Piazzolla, and John Cage’s joyfully anarchic Musicircus, involving the entire Dartington and Totnes community. The week explodes with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

Stephen Barlow conducts the Dartington Choir in Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, Tippett’s Five Spirituals from A Child of Our Time, and new work by Eleanor Alberga. Harrison Birtwistle celebrates his 85th birthday; Neil Brand directs his popular Improvising to Film course, alongside the Dead Rat Orchestra and Black Voices. Jazzers Mark Lockhart, Steve Lodder, Alec Dankworth and Martin France work alongside Paul Archibald and Brett Baker’s brass courses and Steve Dummer’s Big Band.

Sarah Gabriel and Richard Williams present Songs from the Jazz Age and vibrant chamber tuition is provided by the Gildas Quartet, Trio Tritium and Anna Szalucka.

The Summer School & Festival is well known for its extraordinary courses, providing a unique and immersive experience for musicians of all levels of learning, talent and skill. It is renowned for offering amateurs, students and young professionals a unique opportunity to play with the world’s leading musicians – and offers the space to established artists to experiment, and explore new collaborations.

Courses are for all ages and abilities, accompanied by over 100 public concerts, set against the backdrop of a medieval estate in the heart of Devon. Dartington offers a bursary scheme to help students, graduates and young musicians attend advanced courses.

Please note that while the Summer School aims to be as inclusive as possible, some courses are more suited to those with a degree of achievement in the musical genre or instrument concerned.

Booking opens 7 December 2018, details can be found on Dartington’s Summer School website: https://www.dartington.org/whats-on/programme/summer-school/ .

GRAB CHRISTMAS BY THE BAUBLES AT

THE PICKERING’S HOT TODDY GARDEN

Join Pickering’s Gin for cosy cocktails and gin bauble trees to kick off the Christmas season!

Start the season in style as local distillery, Pickering’s Gin open their ‘Hot Toddy Garden’ at Festival Village, in the heart of Edinburgh. From November 15th, visitors, shoppers and local alike are invited to embrace Christmas for the unadulterated joy it should be!

Inspired by the novel fun of Pickering’s Gin Baubles, the Edinburgh distillery is encouraging adults to Grab Christmas by the Baubles and revel in the simple pleasures of the festive season; forgetting about the stress and taking a moment to enjoy what Christmas is really about – fun and frolics with the important people in life.

Duck into ‘The Pickering’s Hot Toddy Garden’ and find a hearty space to unwind amidst the Christmas rush to relish hot gin serves and trees of gin-baubles! Hosted in the Festival Village above Waverley Mall on Princes Street, gin lovers will be treated to a series of hot-serves and gin-filled bauble delights. The Garden appears alongside other local favourites like Pizza Geeks, Say Cheese and Butcher Boy Craft Beer. The village is set to be the perfect spot to eat local, drink local and be merry and listen to live music.

Groups can unapologetically embrace the spirit of Christmas with sharing trees of the oriGINal Gin Baubles. Trees adorned with the award-winning gin-filled bauble ornaments will be served to tables alongside premium tonic water, garnishes and ice. Those looking to warm up can pick from the Hot Toddy menu concocted by Pickering’s Gin Global Brand Ambassador, Stevie Watson. Toasty treats like the Pickering’s Mulled Sloe Gin, Islay Hot Chocolate and the Hot Bombay & Apple Toddy will be available to order all day and into the night.

-Open to the public: Thursday 15thth November into January 2019

-Venue: Festival Village at Waverley Mall, Princes Street, Edinburgh.

-Entry: Free

‘The Pickering’s Hot Toddy Garden’ is part of the brand’s rallying cry to encourage Brits to ‘Grab Christmas By The Baubles’ and make the most of the most wonderful time of the year. The original Gin Baubles are celebrating their fourth year of brightening Christmas trees across the land as they have fast become a must-have Christmas decoration (and gift). Sure to sell out fast, pick yours up from the Pickering’s Gin Distillery (EH9 1PL) or their online shop. National retailers include Selfridges and John Lewis. Order online at 31dover.com and GettingPersonal.com or find them in over 200+ local retailers across the country.

Pickering’s Gin Baubles are retailed in a gift pack containing six differently coloured plastic baubles, each containing 50ml of Pickering’s Gin (RRP: £30.00).

SPICE IT UP…

With A Cuppa From Crabtree & Evelyn!

Spiced Chai Tea – £7 – Crabtree & Evelyn –

Crabtree & Evelyn Spiced Chai Tea – £7

A spicy and warming alternative to the classic cuppa, Crabtree & Evelyn Spiced Chai Tea is certain to shake up any festive afternoon tea.

Steeped with a full-bodied blend of warming and exotic spices including cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove and pepper – it’s no surprise chai tea has been cherished in Indian culture for centuries.

Containing 15 large leaf tea bags bursting with goodness, you might just find it difficult to resist that second cup!

www.crabtree-evelyn.com/uk/en

EVERTON AND SOCCEROOS LEGEND TIM CAHILL TO LEAD FREE KIDS FOOTBALL CAMPS AT AMILLA FUSHI

Inaugural four-day festive football programme kicks off collaboration, with further fixtures for 2019

7 December 2018 – Top-scoring luxury resort Amilla Fushi is once again raising the game for family holidays in the Maldives, after signing up legendary Everton FC and Socceroos star Tim Cahill to lead a series of free football camps for younger guests. Starting with a four-day festive football programme from 26-29 December 2018, Australia’s all-time record goalscorer will lead regular training camps during school holiday periods throughout 2019, providing kids and teens with elite coaching on the island’s very own full-sized pitch.

Australia’s most-capped outfield player and scorer of a record 50 international goals, Cahill made his farewell appearance for Australia in a friendly against Lebanon yesterday. Although yet to call time on his playing career at club level, Cahill is studying for his UEFA coaching license and is passionate about sharing his unparalleled experience with the next generation. The Foxtel Tim Cahill Academy, a free grassroots football programme launched in Australia in 2013 to inspire young Australian players through exclusive coaching clinics, will also provide an elite team of coaches for the Amilla Fushi football camps including experienced English Premier League coach Robbie Anderson. Working for the past 20 years with Everton FC academy, Robbie has trained players including David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley and Kevin Keegan to name a few.

Open to all skill levels from beginners to budding professionals, Amilla’s Junior Camp welcomes players aged from 5-8 years, whilst the Senior Camp is open to those aged 9-16 years. The camps will focus on teamwork tactics and individual techniques, including dribbling, footwork, passing and receiving. At the end, players will go head to head in a fun-filled World Cup match before a crowd of their loyal fans.

Translating to ‘My Island Home’, Amilla Fushi offers spacious luxury island living in a broad range of family accommodation, all with large freshwater pools and outside areas for al fresco dining. Families can choose from two-bedroom Ocean Lagoon Houses, Beach Houses and Tree Houses, or spectacular four- to eight-bedroom self-contained, fully equipped Residences for a true ‘home from home’ experience. Relaxed dining options allow families to indulge in diverse culinary offerings from around the world whilst the Javvu Spa offers an award-winning holistic retreat in stunning surrounds.

Families staying at nearby fun-loving sister island Finolhu can also be part of the action with complimentary daily boat transfers between the resorts for kids.

Red Savannah (01242 787800, redsavannah.com) offers a week’s festive holiday at Amilla Fushi from £5,919 per person – saving from £3,668 per couple – including seven nights in an Ocean Reef House accommodation, daily breakfast, return flights and seaplane transfers.

For more information on Amilla Fushi please visit: www.amilla.mv/festive2018.

GUINNESS ANNOUNCED AS TITLE SPONSOR OF RUGBY’S GREATEST CHAMPIONSHIP

The iconic global brand GUINNESS is to become the new title sponsor of the Six Nations, with the Championship to be known as the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS from 2019.

The Six Nations is one of the world’s best attended sports events and regularly attracts record TV and online audiences in the UK, France, Ireland, Italy and all over the world.

The new partnership with Rugby’s Greatest Championship cements the GUINNESS brand’s position as one of the game’s biggest supporters.

The new sponsorship is a six-year deal and considerably strengthens GUINNESS’ commitment to rugby, adding to an already extensive portfolio that includes the Guinness PRO14, and partnerships with the four Home Unions and leading European clubs Leinster and Munster.

GUINNESS will work with Six Nations to build on its incredible brand heritage. In particular, the GUINNESS team will seek to champion both the player and fan experience and will use its sponsorship to encourage the millions of adult fans watching or attending the games to drink responsibly.

Commenting on this the new partnership, Six Nations CEO Benjamin Morel said: “We are absolutely delighted to enhance our long-standing relationship with GUINNESS and they will be a terrific title sponsor for Rugby’s greatest championship. GUINNESS are world leaders and our partnership between two great iconic brands will enable us to reach new audiences on a global scale.

“We could not be more excited to be working with the GUINNESS team over the coming years on developing new and innovative ways to connect with our fans and consumers.”

Diageo President for Europe, Turkey and India, John Kennedy said: “We are really looking forward to the start of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS in February 2019. Working with the Six Nations, we want to enhance both the Championship and the fan experience whilst using the partnership to encourage the adult fans watching, or attending, the games to drink responsibly.”

Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff at Diageo said: “This announcement affirms our long-standing support for the game of rugby and cements our position as one of the world’s biggest rugby supporters. We truly believe in the power of sport to connect communities and we’ll be working with the Six Nations to ensure that fans’ experience of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS is their best yet.”

These Are The TOP THREE Trends This Christmas

Christmas has officially arrived with festive lights being switched on and gift shopping in full flow, so what are the big trends for this festive season? As people look to decorate their homes, plan their festive season outfits and prepare for one of the biggest foodie events of the year, what should everyone be looking for to ensure they are amongst the trend setters. Luca Morena, CEO at Nextatlas – a platform that spots the trends before they become mainstream – shares his top three Christmas 2018 trends for interior, fashion and food:

Interior: The Vintage Touch

Interiors are getting a touch of vintage this year, as people look to heritage home items to make their homes festive. Think simple colour pallets – such as red, white and green. Bringing back the touches of previous generations, expect to see a lot of foliage around the home complimented by soft lighting from candles. Whilst on the face of it this trend may seem minimalist, the attention is in the detail. Whether that’s small vintage decorations hung on the tree or gilded pinecones in a floral display – this trend is decadent and simple in the same way. If you want to embrace this trend then bring the outdoors in by creating a few floral displays around the home. Mix in some simple white church candles and some red touches to Christmas tree decorations and you have a simple yet effective vintage touch to your home.

Fashion: Crisp and Clean Silhouettes

At this time of year fashion always has a burst of rich tones and fabrics. Traditionally the season where velvet is the star of the show, this year the trend is less is more. Whilst we keep the sumptuous fabrics, the cut and style is changing to clean silhouettes. Think simple lines and tailoring with a touch of glamour from the texture of fabric. If you want to embrace this trend then look to create a small capsule collection with a couple of tops, pair of trousers and a dress which you can mix and match for the holiday season, whether that’s from your wardrobe or a sales bargain!

Food: Super Simple and Superb

It’s that time of year which all foodies love. Rich, decadent and moreish is usually the order of the festive season as the nation embraces all the dishes famous for this time of year. However, for those who have hosted a Christmas before then you will also know the hard work that goes into pulling it off. Often hours are spent in the kitchen creating the perfect Christmas cuisine, but this year simple is the order of the day. Keeping dishes focused around the core ingredients that make this time of year so fabulous, or finding cooking hacks to cut down the hours in the kitchen, the focus is on spending more time with family and friends celebrating. If you want to embrace this trend then look to recipes that incorporate traditional ingredients such as chestnuts, cranberries and cloves – which will immediately give that Christmas flavour to any dish. Cooking hacks such as picking dishes that can be pre-cooked and warmed last minute is a great way to avoid being stuck in the kitchen.

 

Coinciding with its reveal at Brazil CCXP, Sony Pictures is pleased to make available the official International Trailer for James Gunn’s BRIGHTBURN.

Official trailer link: https://youtu.be/9XNNqa_2iUI

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Slither’ presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.

Produced by James Gunn and Kenneth Huang, Brightburn is written by Mark Gunn & Brian Gunn, and directed by David Yarovesky. Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner, Brightburn will open at cinemas across the UK and Ireland on May 24, 2019.

#Brightburn
Facebook.com/BrightburnOfficialMovie
@SonyPicturesUK

Gove announces bolstered Fisheries Bill and £37m Brexit boost for UK fishing industry

Michael Gove today announced a strengthening of the law and new money to ensure the whole of the UK’s fishing industry prospers as we become an independent coastal state.

The Government will table an amendment to the Fisheries Bill which will enshrine its commitment to secure a fairer share of fishing opportunities for UK fishermen.

The amendment would place a legal obligation on the Secretary of State, when negotiating a fisheries agreement with the EU, to pursue a fairer share of fishing opportunities than the UK currently receives under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

This would overhaul the current system where UK fishermen have received a poor deal that is based on fishing patterns from the 1970s. On average between 2012 and 2016 other EU Member States’ vessels landed in the region of 760,000 tonnes of fish (£540 million revenue) annually caught in UK waters; whereas UK vessels landed approximately 90,000 tonnes of fish (£110 million revenue) caught in other Member States’ waters per year in the same time period.

As well as strengthening the law, the Environment Secretary announced £37.2 million of extra funding to boost the UK fishing industry during the Implementation Period. This is in addition to the existing European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) funding, which at €243m over seven years is broadly equivalent to £32m a year. The Government and Devolved Administrations have already committed to match the EMFF funding with around £60m, so the extra funding will support more projects and the sector will benefit by a total of £320m.

Mr Gove has also committed that the Government will put in place new, domestic, long-term arrangements to support the UK’s fishing industry from 2021, through the creation of four new schemes comparable to EMFF to deliver funding for each nation. The Devolved Administrations will lead on their own schemes.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

“We are taking back control of our waters and will secure a fairer share of fishing opportunities for the whole of the UK fishing industry as we leave the EU. The amendment to the Fisheries Bill will give legal weight to this commitment.

“New funding will boost the industry as we become an independent coastal state, preparing it to receive a greater share of future fishing opportunities.”

The new schemes will be introduced after EMFF has closed in 2020. Details of these will be set at the 2019 Spending Review. In England, the scheme will:

support innovation – in technologies to enhance economic growth, reduce environmental impact and improve fishing safety
improve port infrastructure – so more fish can be landed in UK ports, and help the sector take advantage of new export opportunities after exit
boost coastal communities – by providing benefits to areas that depend on a vibrant and profitable industry, and
help the sector adjust – to new arrangements on access and fishing opportunities by improving capacity and capability to exploit new export opportunities and markets.

GENERATION X-MAS: BRITS FIRST BECOME FESTIVE HOSTS AGED 29

· Christmas crowd pleasers: More than half (53%) of hosts believe they have ‘mastered’ Christmas

· Seasonal stocks: Brits spend £3.87 billion on extra everyday items purely to host Christmas

· Practical pitfalls: Ice buckets, table decorations and extra chairs amongst the most common Christmas forgets

· Top tips: Gumtree’s ‘Festive Fixes’ in Soho to provide practical and inspirational festive hosting advice

London, UK. 10 December, 2018: With just two weeks to go until families around the country sit down for their festive feasts, research from Gumtree has found that more than half the nation (53%) believe they’ve got Christmas hosting down to a fine art.

While a third (32%) of Brits have never hosted Christmas, and have no plans to do so in the near future, those who do take on the challenge start early. On average, Brits are 29 when they first invite friends and family into their home on Christmas or Boxing Day – but our fervent festive hosts have now entertained an average of eight times with the highest proportion of respondents (45%) traditionally welcoming between 6-10 people.

Practical preparations typically start on 20th November (35 days out from the big day) with the critical Christmas checklist including extra chairs (31%), a table big enough to seat everyone (30%), extra plates and bowls (22%), cutlery (19%) and the right pots and pans (17%). On average, hosts have forked out £111 on additional items to welcome people to their home – amounting to £3.87 billion nationally.*

Classic Christmas Stresses and Oversights

However, not everyone has hosting under control. While almost half (48%) maintain they’re excited about the prospect of hosting, 27% feel under pressure and 11% wholly unprepared. Top stresses include: keeping everyone entertained (35%) cooking for more people than usual (29%), food going cold before it’s served (26%) and the expense of it all (25%). A fifth of hosts (21%) also worry about not having all the necessary items for the day to run smoothly.

More than half (56%) of people say they are likely to forget an essential Christmas item, increasing to 85% among 16-24 year olds. While the most experienced hosts (55+) have built up a bigger stock of household items over the years, 29% still claim to forget something on Christmas day.

Overall, more than a third (34%) of hosts have experienced a practical emergency and been forced to borrow something last minute to make sure the day goes without a hitch. Most common items hosts are likely to forget include ice buckets, table decorations and extra chairs.

Top 10 items hosts are most likely to need
Top 10 items hosts are most likely to forget

1
Extra chairs
An ice bucket

2
A bigger table
Table decorations

3
Extra plates / bowls
Extra chairs

4
Extra cutlery
A gravy boat

5
The right pots and pans
Extra cutlery

6
Games & entertainment
Serving spoons

7
Extra glasses
A table cloth

8
Table decorations
The right pots and pans

9
A table cloth
Enough glasses and cups

10
Extra beds
Toys and games

To help hosts as their prepare for this year’s celebrations, on Tuesday 11th December, Gumtree is launching a ‘Festive Fixes’ pop-up event in central London designed to showcase solutions to the most common festive hosting dilemmas. Hosting, interiors and DIY experts including actress and TV presenter Lucy Alexander will be on to hand to share key Christmas check lists, festive hacks and general hosting inspiration.

Matt Button, Interim Head of Marketing, Gumtree UK said: “From finding extra chairs and glasses to having big enough turkey pans and ladders for decorations, Christmas hosts have a multitude of challenges to overcome. But first-timers don’t need to go out and spend a fortune to get the practical side of Christmas day under control. By getting tips from friends and family, borrowing from neighbours, and using sites like Gumtree to find once-loved items nearby, it’s possible to source everything you need for smooth and affordable Christmas hosting.”

Lucy Alexander, property/interiors expert, mum and self-professed hosting guru comments: “I’ve had my fair share of Christmas crises over the years, from not knowing how to use my new oven to having a small house fire and everyone having to evacuate and sit in the pub for hours! But after many years of hosting, and by talking to others around me, I’ve picked up some brilliant festive fixes. Now is the time to pass on some of those on to the next generation of hosts so they don’t get caught out by the same mistakes and enjoy more of the day.”

Top practical tips to help your seasonal social run smoothly:

Count your cutlery for all your courses
Buy extra oven racks for the Christmas dinner
Turn your bin into a giant ice bucket
If you run out of fridge space, store items in your summer picnic cool box
No table cloth? Use a patterned curtain instead
Fancy a festive fireplace? Book in your chimney sweep on Gumtree now
Gather foliage for decorations: take the family on a Christmas walk and gather some holly or mistletoe to hang in your house

For more festive hosting tips, tricks and inspiration, head down to the Festive Fixes by Gumtree pop-up event at 15 Bateman Street, Soho, 10am – 6pm, or visit the Gumtree blog.

VINTAGE RUGBY CLOTHING

from ELLIS RUGBY

www.ellisrugby.com/product-category/english-rugby/

LOVE GAME: MALDIVES ACE HUVAFEN FUSHI SERVES UP NEW TENNIS COURT

10 December 2018 – Following its relaunch in October, intimate Maldives hideaway, Huvafen Fushi has revealed its revamped multipurpose tennis and sports court for tennis lovers looking to practice and play amid a dreamlike paradise.

Situated at the resort’s famed Stingray Beach with interrupted views of the Indian Ocean, the artificial grass court will be open daily, allowing guests to perfect their forehand or footwork from dusk till dawn. Private lessons with the resort’s resident tennis pros are also available on request, from US$60++ per person for a 30-minute individual session or from US$195++ per couple for 60-minute couples/group lessons. Made from FIFA-approved 22mm polypropylene, the court is also suitable for volleyball, badminton and football.

Back at the top of its game after a much-anticipated comeback, the adults-only Huvafen Fushi continues to dazzle guests with beautifully refined accommodation; the heavenly Huvafen Spa, home of the world’s first and only underwater treatment rooms; plus an array of exquisite eateries for the most discerning diners. Just 30 minutes from Male International Airport, Huvafen Fushi seduces guests with a promise of endless escapades and unrivalled island indulgence.

Elegant Resorts (01244 897294, elegantresorts.co.uk) offers 7 nights at Huvafen Fushi from £3,395 per person, including a 40% rate reduction saving £6,110 per couple. Price is based on two people sharing a Beach Bungalow with Pool with complimentary half board. Price includes economy flights, shared seaplane transfers and UK Airport lounge passes. Valid for travel from 11 January to 26 December 2019 when booked by 15 February 2019.

Peter Andre recently devoted his morning to attend a Ruggerbugs session.

6 reasons why compression wear is the next big thing for gym-goers

As any keen fitness enthusiast knows, it’s really important to have the right gear for the job at hand. UNBOWND, the latest brand to hit the sportswear market, are keen to explain the benefits of their unique ‘compression wear’, and why it’s being coined as the next big thing for performance sportswear.

Oscar Ryndziewicz, founder at UNBOWND said “I suffered a snapped kneecap back in 2015 and rehabilitation was incredibly difficult, especially because health and fitness is so important to me. Naturally, I wanted to continue training, but constantly having to tape my knee and invest in compression sleeves became laborious, and expensive – that’s when I came up with the idea of UNBOWND. I soon set to work creating the range of compression wear which integrates the K-tape into clothing, and actually does more than what it says on the tin, fits perfectly and looks fantastic. There are so many benefits for using compression wear, and proprioceptive benefits of K-Tape, and we’re excited that the UK fitness market is taking us seriously. Anyone who uses compression wear and K-tape understands the benefits but we thought we’d give people who’ve not yet come across it, some facts”.

Here are UNBOWND’s 6 reasons why their K-tape infused compression wear is the next big thing for fitness fans:

What is K-Tape?
“It’s that blue tape you see athletes wear, which you need to get a trained individual to apply, and is used to help stabilise joints, and help rehabilitation. The only issue is, it’s a 1 application only thing”.

Where did compression wear originate?
“For a long time, compression has been used in the medical profession with the aim of treating circulation issues like lymphedema, post-surgery swelling and deep vein thrombosis. Now, we see it being used in sports, as it can aid in muscle recovery and increase athletic performance”.

How does it work?
“Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just about tight-fitting clothing. It’s all about how your muscles move, and work, and how aware you are of how your body is performing to different exercises. Well-designed compression wear can improve blood flow – delivering blood to the muscles being used in a specific exercise, and the return of blood back to the heart. In doing this, compression wear can increase the delivery of oxygen and key nutrients to muscle groups to improve performance and help with the removal of waste products post-exercise, which all leads to a greater recovery process”.

Is it just a fad?
“We definitely don’t think so – quite the contrary. There’s a whole host of published research which impressively states the effects of compression, and how it helps athletes during and post-exercise. It’s also not just for the professional athletes either, as evidence states that all fitness fans can benefit from the science behind compression wear”.

What are the main benefits of investing in compression wear?
“If you’re serious about your athletic output, you’ll invest in great gear to help you to achieve your goals. Compression wear can help to: increase endurance performance meaning you can push yourself further, and for longer, increase your power output, optimising your body’s core temperature and, most importantly, reduce your injury risk – we love this one. These all add up to create a fully rounded, incomparable training experience, leaving you to focus on those goals”.

How is what UNBOWND do any different?
If you look at a knee support, and the ways we tape our bodies for rehabilitation, the same kind of technology applies, but in the form of specially developed materials, integrated into leggings and tops, providing a full body support system that can vary in power, depending on individual needs”.

UNBOWND believe that, in order to achieve the best results, active wear should be a crucial part of any training regime. Their flagship technology, a unique material that mimics Kinesiology tape, offers the same kind of adhesive properties and support, whilst remaining breathable and integrated into their all-encompassing compression wear. The UK brand have seen a huge surge in sales of their men’s compression wear this year and are due to release their women’s range in Spring 2019.

To find out more about UNBOWND, visit their website www.unbownd.com

www.MotorSportIcons.com

A new collection of motorsport aluminium art prints, called In the Metal.

They are limited to just 25 pieces each, cost £259 and look like this:

Shoppers are being urged to buy with care this December after a survey by Christmas.co.uk revealed that more than a third of Brits (37 per cent) will bin a present given over the festive season – with many of those being beauty gift sets.

The survey of 1,000 adults in the UK also found that 43 per cent of people will try and regift something they get this Christmas. Meanwhile 38 per cent of people expect to resell a gift they get and 29 per cent think they’ll have to return something they do not want.

When asked what kind of gift they had previously returned, resold, regifted or binned . Meanwhile men were more likely to have disposed of booze they did not want (36 per cent).

Despite this, 61 per cent of people say they buy beauty gift sets at Christmas. A third (34 per cent) of people said they buy them for convenience while another third (32 per cent) say it is because there are usually good deals on the products.

The most likely person to give an unwanted gift was a work colleague, named by 31 per cent, while least likely was kids, mentioned by just three per cent.

When asked how getting rid of gifts made people feel, a third (34 per cent) feel guilty, one in five (21 per cent) feel wasteful, while eight per cent are annoyed at getting a gift they didn’t want.

However, when asked about the features of their favourite present, the most popular answer was simply a present that ‘shows the person has thought about me’ (42 per cent). Cost barely registered with only six per cent hoping for an expensive gift.

To avoid the waste, and the post-Christmas stress of returning or selling unwanted goods, bosses of Christmas.co.uk are urging people to shop with thought when buying gifts.

Dan Brown, owner of Christmas.co.uk, said: “We fully expected people to say they returned or regifted Christmas gifts, but it was a shock to discover that so many are already expecting to bin what they get.

“Beauty gift sets were one of the main presents mentioned as being disposed of but they’re fine if you know the person uses the products. The evidence shows that it truly is the thought that counts and putting in the extra effort to make sure we’re buying the right thing will stop the waste.

“It’s easy to be seduced by high street three for twos, but it’s quite simple – if you are not sure, don’t buy. Ask the person what they would like, or just donate to charity instead. After all there is much more to Christmas than presents.”

Kobo’s new eReader ‘Forma’

It is light, has a wider design with a new handy toggle function- making it the comfiest eReader in the market.
Snapshot of features:

· 8.0″ 300 PPI E Ink Carta display, 1440 × 1920 resolution

· Weight: 197 g

· Storage: 8GB

· Choice of 11 font types and more than 50 font sizes

· Includes ComfortLight PRO feature that reduces blue-light exposure through the course of the day

· Price: £239.99

· Stockist: Argos, Dixon’s, John Lewis and Kobo.com

Shopping noise adds to the stress of the Christmas season

Our wellbeing is scientifically proven to drop by as much as 16% when we experience the festive cacophony

Shopping noise adds stress to the Christmas season. Goldsmiths Patrick Fagan alleviates stress with breaks and music. Scientific tests were conducted using Sony’s industry leading WH-1000XM3 noise cancelling headphones

Scientific study found that Christmas shopping noise causes a 16% drop in our emotional wellbeing compared to a normal shopping day. Christmas shopping noise ranks higher than roadworks or hearing a baby cry
Behavioural Expert, Patrick Fagan, reveals the best methods to reduce this stress, such as listening to calming music and taking regular breaks
The study also concluded that wearing noise-cancelling headphones whilst Christmas shopping can increase levels of happiness by as much as 17% when enjoying music with no background disturbances

Research has proven that it actually isn’t the crowds, the queues, or the mayhem of finding the right present that is worse for us during Christmas shopping, but actually the noise that surrounds it.

Research conducted by Sony in partnership with Patrick Fagan, expert in behavioural science and Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths University, ahead of the festive season shows that shoppers report comparatively low levels of happiness and wellbeing when bombarded with the sounds of Christmas shopping during peak times.

With the stress of Christmas shopping noise affecting our emotional wellbeing, it is surprising that as a nation we don’t even recognise this in our top five Christmas stresses, with these identified as;

Busy streets and queues (43.6%)
Finding the perfect present for a loved one (25.6%)
Getting everything ready on time (23.1%)
Spending long periods of time with in-laws (11.9%)
Getting all the ingredients for your Christmas dinner (10.9%)

But when asked what sounds did they think might impact them the most, the top five were highlighted as;

Crowd noises (26%)
Children crying for the toys they want (23.6%)
Christmas songs playing on loop (21.9%)
Shop assistants trying to talk to you whilst you’re browsing (21.4%)
Tannoy announcements or adverts for Christmas deals (14.1%)

Patrick Fagan, behavioural science expert at Goldsmiths University comments, “We frequently worry about our stress levels in the chaos of the lead-up to Christmas, however the research has proven that actually the noise of festive shopping is having a strong impact on our overall feelings of happiness and short-term wellbeing.

“As a nation, a staggering 88% don’t wear headphones when out shopping; however, wearing such tech appears to increase happiness and feelings of wellbeing and can provide a simple solution during this stressful time.”

Following the research, Patrick recommends a few simple measures that can be taken to negate the impact of Christmas sounds:

Take regular breaks – It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the shopping rat-race, but almost a quarter (23%) of the nation recommend taking regular breaks in a shopping trip to reduce feelings of stress. One in five (18%) even bring along a magazine or book to truly switch off from their shopping. From a psychological point of view, the brain is like a muscle with limited energy, and bombarding it with too much information causes stress. Breaks allow our brains to recover from all the stimulation of Christmas shopping.
Think about the noise – The study found that listening to relaxing music, combined with the noise-cancelling capabilities of Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones, remedied feelings of negativity and increased levels of happiness by as much as 17%. Previous psychological research has consistently shown that music affects thoughts and feelings; use this insight to manage your mood during your Christmas shopping.
Leave early – A third (33%) of the public recommend you make sure you’ve left yourself enough time, not only to beat the crowds, but so you aren’t rushed if you have limited time. We know from peer-reviewed studies that time pressure increases cognitive effort and therefore stress; giving yourself plenty of time gives your brain the room to do what it needs.

Claire Poux, Head of Sound, UK & Ireland at Sony comments: “We know that music, if listened to in the right way, can be a form of escapism or can help focus the mind. We saw from research many shoppers experience higher than normal levels of stress when searching for gifts in noisy shopping areas. Our WH-1000XM3 headphones give shoppers the opportunity to experience our industry leading noise cancelling headphones, allowing them to cut out the chaos surrounding them on the high street this Christmas”.

Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones benefit from a newly developed HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1, which has approximately four times greater signal processing performance than its predecessor. This newly-developed component eliminates daily background sounds such as street noise and human voices.

Where In The UK Has The Happiest New Year’s Eve?

City of Sheffield has been revealed to be the happiest place to celebrate New Year’s Eve
Brighton, Exeter and Bath also make up the top five
Results based on percentage of positive New Year’s Eve tweets
For many, New Year’s Eve is one of the most anticipated nights of the year – a chance to get together with family and friends to celebrate the start of a new year. Towns and cities up and down the country come alive with street parties, special events and the all-important fireworks displays. Many people will travel to enjoy the festivities, with London and Edinburgh being the most famous, but where are the spots in the country that truly do have the happiest New Year’s Eve?

Premier Inn has scoured over 30,000 social media posts from New Year’s Eve revellers to pinpoint the places that have the happiest New Year. New Year’s Eve tweets were analysed by sentiment, to reveal how positively party-goers in cities and towns in the UK were talking about their big night. The results make up a varied mix of places across the country that are home to the happiest celebrations in the UK.

The data revealed that Sheffield is home to the happiest New Year’s Eve in the UK, with 96.5% of New Year’s tweets talking positively about their evening ringing in the new year. Perhaps surprisingly Edinburgh, one of the world’s most well-known places to celebrate, didn’t make the top 10 and London only came in at 8th place (with 93.8% of tweets talking about New Year’s positively).

Happiest Places To Celebrate New Year’s Eve In The UK*

1. Sheffield – 96.5% positive tweets

2. Brighton – 96.2% positive tweets

3. Exeter – 95.9% positive tweets

4. Bath – 95.8% positive tweets

5. Oxford – 95.9% positive tweets

6. Cardiff – 95.2% positive tweets

7. Portsmouth – 94.8% positive tweets

8. London – 93.8% positive tweets

9. Southampton – 93.8% positive tweets

10. Birmingham – 93.8% positive tweets

*Based on data from 31st December 2017

About The Top 5 Happiest Places For New Year’s Eve

Sheffield

If you’re looking for a vibrant night out this New Year’s Eve, Sheffield is a great place to head to. West Street, Carver Street and Division Street are where the main range of bars and clubs are situated but you’ll also find lively pubs and restaurants across the whole city. For a refreshing start to the year, The Hathersage Swimming Pool New Year’s Dip takes place just outside of Sheffield on the 1st January. The open-air pool might sound daunting but is heated to a pleasant 28 degrees this year.

Brighton

A night out favourite all year round, Brighton is a great coastal hotspot for a more alternative New Year’s celebration. Whether you want to ring in 2019 laughing your socks off at a comedy evening or taking in an impressive view of Brighton and the surrounding area whilst on a ‘flight’ on the British Airways i360 tower, there’s all sorts of events planned especially for the big night. A brisk New Year’s Day walk can be taken on the nearby South Downs to round off the celebrations the next day.

Exeter

Exeter is perfect for revellers looking for a fun night out coupled with striking nearby scenery and countryside. Enjoy dinner and drinks in the city, the Quayside looks particularly pretty lit up in the evening, and then take in the nearby towns and villages like Sidmouth and

Branscombe on New Year’s Day.

Bath

With its rich history and impressive architecture, New Year’s Eve in Bath offers a perfect backdrop for the celebrations. For something truly unique, The Roman Baths even become a New Year’s party venue hosting a glamourous ball with dinner, drinks and dancing. Equally unique is watching the fireworks at Longleat, a short drive from Bath. The stately home and safari park puts on a memorable fireworks show on the 31st December and 1st January.

Oxford

The perfect location for a slightly more low-key night out, celebrate the end of the year amongst the historic spires and world-famous colleges of Oxford. Take a stroll, or even a punt, along the river to see the breath-taking architecture, then pick yourself a cosy pub to ring 2019 in from – many will have special events or live music.

Introducing EcoSpheres…the NASA pioneered eco-system, which is on everyone’s wish list this year.

We all aim to be original, thoughtful and unique when we buy presents for friends and loved ones but if like most, you struggle to find a gift that will wow then look no further! Ecosphere was developed by scientists at NASA to create a self-contained ecosystem which features small marine shrimp, algae and micro-organisms – all contained within filtered sea water in a hand blown, completely closed class sphere.

The ecosystem was designed by NASA to be incredibly enlightening and stimulating from an educational point of view but they also act as great gifts and centre pieces in the home and office.

The function of each ecosphere is like a battery. The energy gained through the light is stored and biochemically transformed. In order for the algae to produce oxygen, it needs light and carbon dioxide which is the process of photosynthesis. The shrimp breathe the oxygen produced by the algae and eat some of the algae and bacteria within the system. The bacteria is also essential to the ecosystem, as it transforms the waste produced inside the ecosystem into reusable nutrients for the algae and shrimp. To close the circle of life and interdependence in the Ecosphere, the shrimp and bacteria both create carbon dioxide which is again needed by the algae to start the circle with photosynthesis. Through this distribution of labour the Ecosphere achieves a balance of nature in its most simplistic form.

As each and every ecosphere is a self-sustaining ecosystem, the living organisms will utilise the natural resources to thrive and will not overpopulate or contaminate their environment. Because of the nature of the ecosphere it does not require essentially any maintenance. Scientifically, each ecosphere demonstrates the delicate nature of our earth environment.

The only care the sphere requires is a source of indirect natural or artificial light. The gorgonia, gravel and glass provide the ecosystem a place for the micro-organisms to flourish that help feed and sustain the life cycle that allow the ecosphere to function.

Ecospheres have an average life expectancy of 2-3 years however it is not uncommon for them to survive for 7 to 10 years. We have even been fortunate enough to hear from customers wishing to replace a 14 year old sphere!

From taking a step back in time aboard a world-famous steam train to living a life of luxury, staying in Scottish castles, and from discovering ‘foodie’ Ireland to tasting Scotland’s best whisky, McKinlay Kidd has hand-picked a range of tailor-made holidays perfect for a loved one this festive season, simply buy the trip as a gift or give a McKinlay Kidd gift voucher to put towards a unique experience.

Here are six suggestions from McKinlay Kidd’s wide range of tailor-made holiday gift ideas:

West Highland Line Experience

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Sit back and relax in the comfort of an upholstered first-class seat as the famous Jacobite Express chugs along with sooty smells and spectacular views of stunning Highland scenery, including Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis and Europe’s deepest loch, Loch Nevis.

West Highland Line Experience costs from £310 pp (two sharing), including two nights’ B&B accommodation, one dinner, first-class rail day return on the Jacobite Express steam train and refreshments en route. This holiday can be arranged from 19 April – 25 October 2019. Flights extra, from £100 pp (London to Glasgow return).

Castle to Castle in a Tesla

Eriska exterior

With instantaneous power-delivery, silent cruising ability and surprising ease-of-use, driving a Tesla Model S around Scotland’s breath-taking scenery offers a holiday to remember. After a thrilling day on four wheels, relax and unwind in two fascinating Scottish castle hotels with world-class facilities.

Castle to Castle in a Tesla costs from £1,385 pp (two sharing), including four nights’ B&B accommodation in two five-star castle hotels and five days’ rental of a Tesla Model S.

Wild Atlantic Way Food Trail

Kinsale’s colourful streets

Take in a portion of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way on this nine-day self-drive adventure, staying in accommodation that’s been hand-picked especially for its cuisine. Each stop along the route offers the chance to try the best authentic Irish food, from freshly-caught seafood to seaweed!

Wild Atlantic Way Food Trail costs from £1,150 pp (two sharing), including eight nights’ B&B accommodation, a four-hour food tour (Kinsale), one-hour seaweed forage (Kerry) and guided walking tour (Burren).

Islay Whisky Short Break

Bruichladdich distillery

Some say whisky from the Isle of Islay is the best in the world – peat is cut from the mosslands, giving the Islay malt whiskies their distinct flavour – so McKinlay Kidd’s short break is the perfect getaway for a whisky-lover. If nine working whisky distilleries aren’t enough, the island is also home to spectacular costal seascapes, birdlife and delicious seafood.

Islay Whisky Short Break costs from £415 pp (two sharing), including three nights’ B&B accommodation, two premium distillery tours and return ferry travel (one car and two passengers).

Mull Wildlife Experience

Seal spot off the Cairns of Coll

From a whale-watching boat trip with the chance to learn from an onboard marine biologist, to a wildlife safari with golden eagles soaring above and white tailed sea eagles hunting in the bays below, where otters and seals may be sunning themselves, this five-day itinerary offers animal lovers the chance to spot wildlife in its natural habit.

Mull Wildlife Experience costs from £490 pp (two sharing), including four nights’ B&B accommodation, return ferry crossing (one car and two passengers), full-day wildlife tour and full-day whale watching tour.

Land on the Sand on Barra

An airport with a difference

Escape to Barra, Outer Hebrides, where the plane lands on Cockle Strand. Take a walk along the powder-white sands, or head to Castlebay, the capital of the island, to potter around and visit Kisimul Castle.

Land on the Sand on Barra costs from £335 pp (two sharing), including two nights’ B&B accommodation and return flights from Glasgow to Barra.

ChicP houmous recently just released their seasonal flavour, Chilli Pumpkin, perfect for dips for holiday guests! >> www.chicp.co.uk

But just why are they a raw vegetable hummus company? Find Out Here!

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Available on their website and independent retailers starting at £2.50.

ChicP’s fundamental reason for being a raw vegetable hummus company is not only to produce delicious, alternative dips but to help bring awareness to food waste and change the attitudes of the way we approach cooking and waste!

Sweet & Savoury Hummus made from Surplus Fruit & Vegetables
Awards

Winner of Best Convenience Food Innovation Award for the World Food Innovation Awards 2016

Trailblazer Winner at Food Vision 2017

Shortlisted for the YBFS

Highly commended for the Hammersmith & Fulham Business Awards

Flavours
Herby
Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric
Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage
Chilli Pumpkin
Banana Chocolate
 

SECRET SANTA – HO HO NO!

Northern Irish shoppers are the most generous gift givers in the UK, dropping an average of £17.36 per Secret Santa gift, 58 per cent more than the national average
Over forty per cent will buy two or more Secret Santa gifts this year
Twenty-five per cent have received a rude or insulting gift
Over a quarter have re-gifted a present they didn’t like

A BAG OF SPROUTS, novelty loo roll and a Simon Cowell mask are among the strangest Secret Santa gifts Brits have received, according to a new survey.

Researchers who polled 2,000 UK adults identified some of the weird and wonderful presents they’ve ever received – including cat food and Cumberland sausages.

Other bizarre items include a T-shirt with their work bestie’s face on it, an inflatable turkey and a grow your own boyfriend kit.

Commissioned by high street chain, wilko, the research also identified the top 40 most popular Secret Santa presents, with a festive tipple taking top spot, followed by chocolate and gift cards.

Sweets, socks, perfume and toiletries featured too, along with photo frames, flowers and make-up.

Wilko’s Christmas buyer, said: “Taking part in Secret Santa is an age-old tradition and great way to express your creative or humorous side, but also allows you to be thoughtful and sentimental.

“It’s a great way to bond with colleagues and friends, whether new or existing, and whether you are purchasing an item that stands as a long-running joke between pals, or a lovely gift for a more distant colleague.

“If you don’t know your Secret Santa well, it’s always worth taking the time to get to know them and doing a little research. Don’t get gifts that are too cheeky or risqué if you want to avoid embarrassment, but a bit of humour never goes a miss.”

One in 10 see Secret Santa as a chance to be mischievous and get someone something weird and wonderful.

Further to this, more than half would find it funny if they were to receive a risqué gift.

But not everyone would see the funny side – one in seven admitted they were given items that were ‘inappropriate’ or ‘insulting’.

Carried out through OnePoll.com, the research also found one in five would hate to receive their boss in a Secret Santa.

And one in seven wouldn’t like to have to buy something for a colleague they don’t get on with. But unfortunately, 25 per cent have had to buy for a person they don’t like – and a fifth have even swapped who they’ve received as Secret Santa as a result.

On the flip side, one in seven admitted they’re so worried they’ll receive a naff gift this year, they’ve told others what they want to avoid disappointment.

Perhaps as a result of getting a present they didn’t like, one in seven regret taking part in Secret Santa and one quarter don’t think others put enough effort in.

Generous workers in Northern Ireland fork out the most on their colleagues for Secret Santa, dropping £17.36 on their colleagues; while those in the south west will spend £8.54.

The research found that people in the North East are the most excited secret Santa players, while people in Wales admitted they were anxious about choosing the right thing.

Christmas buyer at wilko, added: “Although a third people said they find Secret Santa fun; a quarter admit they are worried about buying the ‘wrong’ item. It’s for this reason, we created our own Secret Santa vending machine to help hapless shoppers and commuters at Paddington Station this year.

“Whether they were looking for gift inspiration for that ‘social butterfly’ or even the ‘office joker’, we like to think you’ll find everything you need at wilko. Where we aim to offer products that meet customer needs, make life easier and are at prices our customers can depend on.”

Wilko has hundreds of great value secret Santa presents and stocking fillers to make even the fussiest of recipients smile, this Christmas. For the full range of gifts and inspiration visit www.wilko.com

Top 40 Secret Santa presents

Alcohol
Chocolates
Gift card
Book
Candles
Money
Sweets
Socks
Perfume
Bubble bath
Lotions / soaps
Stationery
A plant
Notebook
Jewellery
Make-up
Puzzle
Clothing
Diary
Board game
CDs
Photo frame
Charity donation
Blanket
Flowers
Calendar
Magazine subscription
Kitchenware
Coffee maker
Cushions
Keyring / chain
A book of jokes
Tea pot / tea cosy
Vitamins / herbal remedies
Salt and pepper shakers
Fruit
Ornament
Extra hot chilli sauce
A clock
Glasses

The greatest heritage festival set to entertain in April

The organisers of the world-renowned Stars of Sandstone Steam and Heritage Festival set for 4-10 April 2019 in South Africa’s magnificent Eastern Free-State report bookings streaming in from across the globe. They have received feedback of local hotels and guesthouses fast filling up for the prestigious event and are advising visitors to confirm reservations for the festival as well as accommodation to avoid disappointment.

Set to thrill all ages, the line-up of all-day daily entertainment will be bigger and better than ever, again securing this as one of the most spectacular attractions for international tourists to magical South Africa.

Recognised as a drawcard for steam and heritage transport enthusiasts from across the planet, visitors will experience and participate in scenic steam train rides on the 30km narrow-gauge rail track on the farming estate. Vistas of such picturesque journeys will include 36 Afrikaner trek oxen toiling the land, vintage transport and agricultural equipment restored and utilised on the Heritage Collection estate, with the added wow-factor of the military cavalcade.

A further attraction to Stars of Sandstone is the display of vintage aircraft, always popular with would-be and professional aviators.

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This fertile landscape is home to ever-expanding cattle herds and the harvesting of cosmos, soya, wheat, maize and the like continues throughout the year.

Arrive on the luxurious Blue Train

A further indulgence for some lucky guests wishing to be pampered at Stars of Sandstone 2019 will be the charter journey on the world-renowned Blue Train. Board the iconic train in Pretoria on 3 April, and experience the festival from 4 to 6 April in splendour.

The Blue Train will be stationed at Vailima at Sandstone next to the 2ft narrow-gauge line for easy access to the festival, from where guests will be transported by complimentary shuttle to the hive of activities at the festival.

Recognised as one of the finest trains in the world for more than 70 years, the five-star service, fine-dining, plush suites and sumptuous interiors will add an extra element of fabulous to the Stars of Sandstone 2019 Festival.

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Reserve a passage for The Blue Train Stars to Sandstone 2019 journey:

daver@sandstone.co.za – mobile +27 (0) 82447 9167

– landline +27 (0) 11 805 4692 – talk to Dave Richardson.

Heritage train excursions during the 2019 Stars of Sandstone include:

The Mountain Wanderer offers scenic journeys at Sandstone. It traverses the full 30 km of track around the estate. Utilising up to 14 passenger coaches and two Garratt locomotives, which are former South African Railways steam locomotives, this train starts and finally ends at Hoekfontein Station. This station dates back to the 1890s and the journey takes between 90 minutes and two hours.

The Lesotho Meander is a short trip of about 30 minutes to Grootdraai, which is on a hill above the Lesotho border with South Africa.

The Stargazer is a magical evening journey departing from Grootdraai at 20h00 on selected evenings. Grootdraai is a short distance from the Lesotho Border, which is the Caledon River in the valley below. Passengers disembark at this point and observe the dazzling night sky. An astronomer provides an informative talk.

Seb’s Railway for children offers 2,48 km of fun for youngsters – and the young at heart…

For more information on the Stars of Sandstone 2019 Steam and Heritage Festival, go to:

www.starsofsandstone.com

Some footage of what visitors will see and participate in during the 2019 festival: https://youtu.be/ziGauvrVDIA

Reservations for the Stars of Sandstone 2019 Festival:

http://www.starsofsandstone.com/index.php/info-booking/southern-african-residents

http://www.starsofsandstone.com/index.php/info-booking/international-residents

Accommodation:

The nearby towns of Ficksburg, Fouriesburg and Clarens offer many choices of hospitality: https://www.safarinow.com/destinations/eastern-free-state/hub.aspx

Regular open day steam events:

Sandstone Estates offer open day steam events throughout the year – see more at www.sandstone-estates.com

Social media:

Instagram: @sandstoneinaction – Twitter: @SandstoneHerit – Facebook: Stars of Sandstone – LinkedIn @Tilly Smith Dix

TV’s Clare Balding and Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick confirmed as special guests for DogFest 2019

The ultimate summer festival for dogs returns for 2019

with a bonanza of shows, displays and activities!

DogFest South: 11 – 12 May · Knebworth House · Knebworth, Hertfordshire

DogFest North: 15 -16 June · Tatton Park · Knutsford, Cheshire

DogFest West: 22 – 23 June · Ashton Court Estate · Bristol

DogFest, the UK’s biggest and best day out for dogs, their families and animal lovers of all ages is back – with even more for next year! Now entering its sixth year, DogFest will take place in the grounds of three stunning stately homes: Knebworth House in Hertfordshire (11-12 May), Tatton Park in Cheshire (15-16 June) and Ashton Court Estate in Bristol (22-23 June).

The events once again promise a packed schedule of celebrity appearances and expert talks, jaw-dropping dog displays, educational sessions and fun, have-a-go activities. Everything is geared towards celebrating the amazing bond between dogs and people and promoting animal welfare. All this plus great live music sets, cool street food and shopping galore for pooches and people alike.

Special guests – Noel Fitzpatrick and Clare Balding

National treasure and presenter of Crufts’ TV coverage – and such shows as BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings, Clare Balding stars for the first time at DogFest. Famed for her love of dogs, she’ll headline on the main stage with anecdotes from her life – and those of her four-legged friends. Clare will lead the Great Dog Walk where she’ll chat to people all around the course (it has 2K and 4K routes). She’ll also award prizes for DogFest’s acclaimed ‘Fun Dog Show’.

TV’s Supervet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, known globally for his ground-breaking work will front a special interactive feature for younger visitors. The world-leading orthopaedic-neuro veterinary surgeon will also open The Great Dog Walk – now a much-loved event within DogFest. He’ll also deliver a special, insightful talk for fans purchasing VIP tickets.

A-listers of the furry variety will also be in evidence – at the ‘Dogs of Instagram’ Hound Hangout.

The main stage

On DogFest’s famous main stage, a number of well-known faces (to be revealed early next year) will host mass participation activities with hundreds of dogs and their owners all coming together.

They’ll include the canine ‘doga’ craze (AKA doggy yoga where pets and people de-stress together) and ‘wag & tone’ aerobics sessions. Huge group sessions will teach festival-goers basic obedience training – for dogs of all abilities. And there’ll be bands playing the stage throughout the weekend.

Activity Arena

The Activity Arena will show back-to-back canine entertainment with jaw-dropping stunts and routines from the UK’s most skill full dog display teams. These super-talented animals leap through rings of fire, hurtle down zip wires, sniff out contraband and much more. Other ‘Dogs with Jobs’ (such as rescue and assistance dogs) will showcase their extraordinary talents which transform people’s lives.

Then there’s fun all the way with dog dancing – where astonishing sequences to rival Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers can be seen.

Have-a-go activities

Dog Diving is one of the biggest crowd pleasers at the festival: furry volunteers line up to leap into a massive aquasports pool, while brand new this year is Fido’s Lido, a giant paddling pool for pups and people alike!

Also new for 2019 is the Big Dog Dig, where pups can catch the scent of buried goodies and scrabble away to their heart’s content to get to the loot!

Temptation Alley is another firm favourite. Wayward pooches are called by owners through a course of irresistibly tempting toys and treats. And hay bale racing does what it says on the tin. Dogs large and small have a blast as they race over straw obstacles.

At DogFest even complete novices can try out agility: running up ramps, tearing through tunnels and clearing jumps like a pro, with encouragement from owners – and DogFest’s friendly helpers.

Flyball is a real high energy event. Dogs will have the chance to test their skills over hurdles, land on a springboard, catch a ball, turn in mid-air and rocket back to the finish line.

A ‘just for fun’ dog show will crown the ‘happiest dog, ‘the one with the waggiest tail’ and so on through to the ‘Best in Show’.

Education, education, education

DogFest’s guest experts are always a major draw and each weekend will be packed with talks, demonstrations and Q&A sessions on animal health and welfare, veterinary developments, dietary requirements, behavioural psychology and much more.

Pup Park – essential learning and development

Effective socialisation at an early stage is crucial to every puppy’s mental wellbeing and future development. So, brand new for 2019 is DogFest’s innovative ‘Pup Park’ where pups of all breeds shapes and sizes can meet other youngsters in a friendly and relaxed environment. (All must be inoculated and protected).

Family friendly

DogFest promises a weekend of ultimate summer fun for children too! While they can have a go at activities throughout the festival, one of the highlights will be a special kids’ obstacle course where they can race with their dogs over tyres, hay bales and scramble nets.

Around the show

Special ‘splash zones’ will be sited all around the park for dogs to have a drink and a refreshing plunge into bone-shaped pools of water. Shaded areas will also be provided.

Mutt must-haves – food, drink and shopping

Visitors can soak up the festival vibe throughout the show, with artisan food and coffee vans, gin-tastic bars and other wonderful food and drink stalls. Finally, DogFest’s Shopping Village is a must-see destination for serious retail therapy with food, fashion and fripperies, for man and beast alike.

Further information on all shows can be found at: www.dog-fest.co.uk

Tickets are available from https://dogfest.seetickets.com/content/ticket-options

and the hotline – 0871 220 0260

Advance tickets:

o Adult £16.50; Children under 6 – free; Children 6-16 £10.50; Family ticket (2 adults; 2 children) £45.00; Senior (over 60) £12.50; VIP (advance ticket sales only) £90.00

· On the door:

o Adult £21.50; Children under 6 – free; Children 6-16 £16.25; Family ticket (2 adults; 2 children) £58.50; Senior (over 60) £13.65

NB: Vehicle entry charges apply at Tatton Park.

DogFest can be found on social media at:

· Facebook: www.facebook.com/DogFest

· Twitter: @DogfestUK
· Instagram: www.instagram.com/dog_fest/

· YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFPHCGHO-M69v5nJwqubdqA

Join the conversations on social using the hashtags: #TeamNorth, #TeamWest, #TeamSouth.

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Special Editions of First World War Classics

Centenary Anniversary

To commemorate 100 years since the end of conflict in the First World War, Imperial War Museums (IWM) and Puffin have teamed up to publish three beautiful new editions of critically acclaimed stories that give the reader an insight into the impact of war.

With a stunning vintage-style design, paying homage to yesteryear, the three books include ‘Stay Where you Are and Then Leave’ by John Boyne, ‘Remembrance’ by Theresa Breslin and ‘A Vicarage Family’ by Noel Streatfeild. All compelling works of historical fiction, they unite in their ability to effortlessly transport the reader – both adult and child alike – into the lives of those living in wartime Britain. Captivating the reader’s interest through the rich and relatable stories that are interwoven throughout the books.

These special edition books, each complete with an introduction from an IWM curator, make the perfect keepsake to mark the important centenary and an ideal gift.

Every purchase from the IWM shop helps support the work of the museum, ensuring that the stories of those affected by war continue to be told for future generations.
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Available from www.iwmshop.org.uk

GIVE IT A BIT OF WELLY!
Boxing Day With Muddy Puddles

There’s nothing better than a Boxing Day walk with the family after a day of Christmas indulgence!

But whether it’s a leisurely stroll through the local park, or a more ambitious trek, one things for sure, you need the right kit!

From bold and bright blizzard jackets, practical waterproofs and funky wellies through to warm winter woolies – Muddy Puddles believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit!

5 TIPS FOR GETTING CHILDREN OUTDOORS IN THE WINTER

*The Right Kit*
Dress the kids for success! Layering is the key to keeping warm

*Involve The Whole Family*
Getting the entire family involved is the best way to show kids that outdoor play in whatever weather is the way forward

*Fun Activities*
From an exciting winter scavenger hunt to even collecting pine cones in a local park, make outdoor time as exciting as possible

*Start Small*
Outdoor time is always valuable, no matter how long you stay outside. Start with a short walk and progress to a full day out with the family

*Make The Most Of The Season!*
Celebrate all the lovely seasons and make the most of them. Enjoy these frosty mornings and wet weather walks before they’re gone!

www.muddypuddles.com

Moccis Hand Sewn Swedish Moccasins

With fans such as Victoria Beckham, Rita Ora, Sienna Miller, Claudia Schiffer, Jamie Oliver and many more, everyone is raving about Moccis!

Moccis® (pronounced Mock-Keys) are the first and only luxury hand sewn Swedish moccasins to bring fashion, function, and fun to adult and children’s indoor footwear worldwide.

Moccis are a hybrid of a sock and slipper in one, making them the perfect indoor footwear. They feature a soft leather sole that prevents you from slipping and falling down and are super soft and cozy, yet indestructible.

Moccis have developed a unique 10-Step Secret System, to ensure that every pair of Moccis® pampers and protects your feet like no other.

Moccis are available for babies, children and adults. Prices from £25

www.moccis.co.uk

Download high-res images and press releases here

Dotty Fish Soft Leather Baby & Toddler Shoes

Dotty Fish specialise in soft leather shoes for babies and toddlers. They offer a large selection of bright, fun designs for both boys and girls aged 0-5 years. From hearts and stars to their festive reindeer, penguin and polar bear, with over 50 designs to choose from you are sure to find a design to delight that special little one this Christmas.

All of their shoes are made from soft leather and have a non-slip suede sole which allows babies to walk on wooden and laminated floors without slipping and sliding. The elasticated ankle keeps the shoe snug on the foot and stops them from falling off!

Priced from just £8.99, each pair comes presented in an organza drawstring gift bag.

www.dottyfish.com

JOHNSON’S® Baby Pamper Kit

JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil, 500ml, £2.29

Find out more at :- www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/product/skincare/johnsons-baby-oil


For baby and for you
Creates a light protective barrier on the skin
Hypoallergenic* & dermatologically tested
Ideal for Baby Massage
How to use:
Pour small amount onto the palms and rub hands together to warm, then gently apply onto skin.
Keep out of children’s reach. For external use only.

JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion, 300ml, £1.06

Find out more at :- www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/product/skincare/johnsons-baby-lotion


· For baby and for you

· Clinically proven mild and gentle

· Unmistakable babyfresh smell

· Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth

· How to use:

To moisturise, gently smooth over baby’s entire body or apply on cotton wool to cleanse skin.
Keep out of reach of children. For external use only

CELL C GIVES YOU MORE REASON TO STAY CONNECTED THIS FESTIVE SEASON

Whether staying home these holidays or spending time away with family and friends, there is even more reason to stay connected this festive season. We know that not everyone wants to be out and about this time of year, so why not choose this time to catch-up on the latest movies or series. You can also connect via Facetime with loved ones and surf the net for those last minute festive season specials, without paying more for data. Cell C has a special offer on extra gigs on its SmartData Share 5GB, 10GB, 20GB and 50GB plans which also includes a generous allocation of anytime and nite data. As part of the summer special, Cell C will further boost the anytime and nite data on these plans, essentially giving you triple the value. The promotional deals are available at Cell C stores, Cell C Direct (084 135) and selected retailers countrywide until 6 January 2019. No need to worry about missing out on all the action as you will have more reason to stay in this festive season!

CONNECT MORE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY THIS SUMMER

Connecting with family and friends this holiday season will be easier with reengineered Connector plans to give customers more of what they want which is… more data. Sharing videos, pictures and no longer has to leave you worried about your data bill as Cell C gives you more on your Connector package. The Plans will be available throughout the month of December through to 6 January 2019 and this package will boost the amount of data that customers would have traditionally received on these products. Cell C is also throwing in an extra 1GB of WhatsApp data to sweeten the deal. Customers that sign-up for these 24-month contracts during the promotional period will also receive a subscription to black, South Africa’s premium entertainment streaming platform, free of charge. Binge Premium offers access to series, movies, music, and documentaries and over 60 live TV channels. In addition, until the end of February 2019, streaming of content on black is zero-rated on Cell C, leaving customers to do whatever they want with the rest of the inclusive data. These incredible deals are available as SIM only deals, giving customers the flexibility to buy their own handset.

DATA GIFTS TO SUIT EVERYONES POCKET THIS FESTIVE SEASON

Deciding on what to get your friends and family can be tricky. Taking into account the technical recession in South Africa and the increasing fuel and food prices. Instead of buying a plant, that could possibly die if not taken care of, or a Christmas card – that they will not look at again after Christmas — why not rather give a gift that is affordable and will definitely be utilized. Cell C gives you some great options for possible gifts that will ensure that you stay connected with some incredible deals on data. The holiday season is all about sharing- whether its holiday snaps or videos, so why not gift your family and friends with a quick data hit for the day, Cell C is offering its 500MB bundle at R17 and if that’s not enough, its 1GB daily bundle is now only R20. Alongside the prepaid bundles, Cell C is reintroducing its popular R17 WhatsApp bundle, giving customers 1GB of data to use on WhatsApp. Cell C is also giving away additional Nite data on its 30-day prepaid bundles. Bundles from R80 through to the binge-sized bundles will all include additional Nite data at no extra cost. Plus, Cell C is boosting a few of the more popular bundles with additional data, again without charging any more.

SOCK ‘N’ ROLL
The festive stocking filler that could walk you into the hottest gigs of 2019

• Limited-edition socks, which double up as tickets for some of Scotland’s biggest gigs of 2019, go on sale today from www.socknroll.co.uk

• The socks could be your ticket to music events such as TRNSMT and Summer Sessions

Dreading the thought of having to open another pair of socks this Christmas? Not this year.

Gigs in Scotland has turned the nation’s least favourite gift* into a must-have for every music fan – tickets to the best music events in Scotland next year.

Each pair of socks comes loaded with a unique gift card code, redeemable online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk for gigs in 2019. The once un-exciting stocking filler could now walk you into epic events like TRNSMT, Summer Sessions or shows at some of the best venues across Scotland.

With headline acts such as The 1975, CHVRCHES, Twenty One Pilots, and The Nightmare Before Christmas arena show plus many more already announced to be playing in Scotland next year, those looking to get their ‘feet’ on a special present this Christmas, can purchase the socks before they sell out at www.socknroll.co.uk. And even though the line-up is yet to be released, this is the perfect chance to get your foot in line for TRNSMT 2019.

Wesley Shearer from Gigs in Scotland: “You won’t be faking your surprise when your Auntie Susan gives you your “present” this year as these socks are not just for Christmas.

We’ve got some of the most exciting acts in the world coming to Scotland to play in 2019, and these socks will walk people right into the venue of their choice. Everyone needs a bit of sock‘n’roll in their lives, so make sure you gift them with an experience to remember this Christmas.”

A limited-edition range of pre-loaded socks are currently available from www.socknroll.co.uk/

Those unable to get their hands on a pair before they run out can still chose from a selection of gift cards.

* https://uk.kantar.com/consumer/shoppers/2017/best-and-worst-christmas-presents-2017/

World-famous outdoor lifestyle and fly fishing brand, Orvis, also specialise in luxury dog product, including their unbeatable memory foam dog beds.

– Herringbone personalised dog blanket (available in Taupe, Red & Green), £50. Link. (Embroided with dogs name) This cozy herringbone blanket may be meant for the dog, but it will complement your décor.

– Luxury Comfortfill, Bolster dog bed with personalisation available to have the dogs name embroided. Available in Teal, Khaki, Mocha and Gunmetal – all made in the UK. £139 – £239 depending on the size.

– New Tweed dog jacket in two colours, £65. A stylish, canine twist on the classic British walking jacket, this quilted tweed windowpane dog jacket features a warm quilted lining, soft corduroy collar, and fun button pocket.

Unicorn Fever!

Did you know that parrots aren’t the only animals that can talk back? Unicorns can too with this totally awesome Talk Back Unicorn from ThumbsUp! So super chatty, you won’t be able to shut this little fella up. The Talk Back Unicorn will repeat whatever you say to him and unlike a parrot, there’s no messy feeding and cleaning up afterwards, not to mention a unicorn’s majestic exterior, what’s not to love!

Soft and cuddly to touch, fantastically cute with white and vibrant pink fur, mane and fetlocks this gorgeous unicorn plushie could make a great gift idea for any unicorn obsessive.

Remember be careful what you say around this little fella as he will repeat everything you say. Yes, even if it’s something rude! But just some words of wisdom from me to you, don’t give this to a child if you value your hearing and want to maintain some level of sanity. However, the Talk Back Unicorn would make that perfect novelty gift idea for those work colleagues, friends or family members who are all kids at heart, that little something for a last minute secret Santa or stocking filler.

Yes, his voice is a tiny bit grating and could get a little repetitive at times, but surely you couldn’t stay mad at this fella for long with that adorable little face. Look at his mad little expression and those tufts of neon pink hair, your levels of frustration will soon subside.

The Talk Back Unicorn is available to buy online for £14.99 from ThumbsUp!

Wellness book news: Rachel Kelly’s Singing in the Rain Workbook launches 27th December

Want to flex your writing muscles, relive moments of magic and have some fun? Singing in the Rain will show you how.

Thinking often makes us sad but doing rarely does. This book is about action: you do something on every page. Kelly’s psychological exercises will take you on a journey of self-discovery, from the way you behave to how you would change the world. It is full of inventive and accessible activities, one for each week of the year, and is perfect for anyone who wants to be that little bit happier.

Flick through its pages to discover a treasure trove of things to do: the book is made of sturdy stuff. It can take whatever you throw at it or write in it. You can stand on it, swing it about your head and it will still be there for you, without judgement.

Rachel Kelly is the bestselling author of Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness (2015), Happy Kitchen (2016) and Black Rainbow (Hodder & Stoughton, 2014).  She began her career as a journalist on The Times.

After battling with depression in early adulthood, she became interested in health and therapy and, in 2007, trained as a counsellor at Regents University. She is now an official Ambassador for SANE and Rethink Mental Illness and lives in West London. Follow Rachel on Twitter @RachelKellyNet or visit www.rachel-kelly.net

SINGING IN THE RAIN is published by Shortbooks and will be available from 27th December 2018.

Grabits Christmas Canapés

If you’re throwing a Christmas party, look no further than our tempting selection of Grabits canapé ideas. It’s true what they say, “good things come in small packages”, especially when it comes to finger food! Here are our three recipes for the canapés using Grabits Chicken on a Stick that will have your party guests salivating this Christmas!
You can keep your canapés light and dainty or pile them high for a bigger bite! Just follow our serving suggestions and repeat until you have enough to feed your guests!

1. Mango & Chilli Blini

Ingredients:  Grabits Nice & Spicy Chicken on a Stick  Blini  Cream cheese  Mango (thinly sliced)  Chilli (finely chopped)
Spread the cream cheese on your blini and add a piece of the Grabits Nice & Spicy Chicken on a Stick. Gently place your sliced mango on top of the chicken and, voilà!
For those going for a fiery taste, just sprinkle your finely chopped chilli and you’re done!

2. Mini Yorkshire Puddings

Ingredients:  Grabits Original Chicken on a Stick  Mini Yorkshire puddings (prepared as per pack instructions)  Cranberry jelly  Asparagus (cook up according to pack instructions and allow to cool)
Add a spoonful of cranberry jelly to your Yorkshire pudding. Lightly place a piece of the Grabits Original Chicken on a Stick on the Yorkshire. Garnish with one or two pieces of shaved asparagus for a healthy finish!

3. Oriental Shot glasses:

Ingredients:  Grabits Chinese Chicken on a Stick  Soy sauce  Lime (thinly sliced)  Spring onion (cut into shavings)  Chilli (thinly sliced)
Simply pour a bit of soy sauce into your shot glass. Get a cocktail stick, and whack one or two chunks of the Grabits Chinese Chicken on a Stick, and a sliced chilli on there.
Carefully place the cocktail stick in the shot glass, then add two sliced limes and your spring onion on top. For an extra kick, drizzle some lime juice and you’re ready to go!

KEEP WARM WALKING THROUGH THE COLD SEASON

– Enjoy all that nature has to offer this winter with walking gear from Decathlon-

-Quality products available including technical clothing, fleeces and jackets-

The cold season has arrived, but it doesn’t mean that enjoying the breathtaking sights of the countryside isn’t an option. With the right walking gear, the chilliest weather can be held at bay making those leisurely walks in the countryside even more enjoyable.

Whether it’s hiking through the woodland or just a simple stroll through the country, Decathlon has the best products for every kind of expedition.

From lightweight jackets to warm gloves, each product has been designed and tested to make sure outdoor enthusiasts will be well looked after even in the chilliest of seasons.

Hiking Fleece

Quechua by Decathlon Men’s Mountain Hiking Fleece – £17.99

Warm and light, this hiking fleece is the perfect ally against the cold whilst enjoying the sights of the countryside.

Meanwhile, the elastic fabric means it’s extremely comfortable to wear for those on longer walks.

What’s more, the two zipped pockets provide avidcountry walkers with the peace of mind that their belongings are safe as they venture through nature.

Hiking Coats

Forclaz Trek100 Men’s Hooded Mountain Trekking Down Jacket – £29.99

This jacket will keep country walkers dry and is ideal for those wanting to enjoy a peaceful walk in the countryside without getting cold.

This jacket is also waterproof, thanks to the water-repellent surface coating on the outside protecting walkers from all-weather elements.

It is easy to store making it easy to transport when no longer in use, particularly if the weather decides to shine on a winters’ day – simply fold away into the left-hand pocket and zip it closed.

Taking great care to respect the environment, this jacket is made from 50% recycled materials and features an interior jacket lining that was produced with 40% less CO2 emissions.

Quechua by Decathlon Forclaz 400 Men’s Waterproof Jacket – £59.99

This waterproof jacket offers unrivalled protection from any weather condition, be it heavy rain or wind for those on country walks.

The fitted cut of the jacket means that the fabric can stretch easily and can be worn over another layer.

Meanwhile, the ventilation zips under thearms can keep the body temperature constant, ideal for those on a long, intense trek.

What’s more, there are three waterproof pockets to store any belongings which means all the gear will be protected from the weather.

Quechua Rainwarm 500 3-In-1 Men’s Waterproof Jacket – Was £79.99, Now £69.99

This jacket is the ideal travel companion for walkers who want to pack light but don’t want to sacrifice the protection that a heavy-duty jacket offers.

The outer jacket allows air to pass through, meaning that even in the most difficult hikes wearers can keep cool and dry as it allows excess perspiration to escape. The removable inner jacket is even padded to add extra warmth – perfect when hikers need to keep warm during cold weather conditions.

What’s more, the waterproof component of the jacket helps to keep wearers protected from the wet weather by keeping out the rain, making this jacket a solid all-rounder choice.

T-shirt

Forclaz Men’s Blue Long Sleeve Mountain Trekking T-Shirt Techwool190 – £24.99

This long-sleeved t-shirt is ideal for country walkers looking to trek for long periods of time. Made with merino wool, this t-shirt will keep wearers dry for longer by absorbing excess moisture.

Not only that, but as merino wool is a soft and naturally warm material, country walkers won’t have to worry about wearing an uncomfortable and itchy t-shirt just to keep the chill of winter at bay.

As wool is naturally anti-bacterial, this t-shirt is ideal for preventing bad odours from forming on a walk and means that this t-shirt can even be worn numerous times without the need to wash it!

Trousers

Forclaz Mountain Trekking Tights Trek100 – £7.99

These tights are designed to keep wearers warm in the coldest weather this winter.

Featuring brushed microfleece on the inside and outside of the legs, the tights act as an insulator for added warmth when walking outside. Meanwhile the polyester knit allows water vapour generated by the body to escape, so that they stay fresh for longer.

Machine washable and resistant to creasing, these trekking tights are easy to maintain and pack.

Quechua MH500 Men’s Mountain Hiking Trousers – £24.99These trousers are the ideal companion for the countryside walker who is looking for a lightweight pair of trousers.

Made to maximise movement, these trousers are close-fitting and feature a two-way stretch fabric for better comfort.

What’s more, the polyamide fabric allows air to pass through so that they dry quickly, whilst preventing walkers from overheating.

Accessories

Quechua Trek 500 Adult Trekking Mountain Gloves – £7.99

Designed for keeping hands warm and toasty in the cold with the polyester fabric, these trekking gloves are ideal for country walks this winter.

Wearers won’t have to compromise their freedom of movement nor will they have to take the gloves off to operate their smartphone, thanks to the touchscreen compatible thumb and forefinger.

Additionally, these gloves have a leash, allowing wearers to keep them safe by tying them together so they never have to worry about losing them when they need them the most.