Sunday, 27 May 2018

ONE MINUTE – The Barn Theatre, Cirencester.

19 May till 16 June 2018 - Review by Carlo Vuolo




Following the resounding success of ‘The Secret Garden’, the first professional show at The Barn Theatre, the latest production, Simon Stephens’ ‘One Minute’, reaffirmed the theatre’s promise to bring West End standard entertainment to the Cotswolds. This was a brave move from musical theatre to straight drama, completely unlike previous performances here at the Barn, and was eagerly anticipated. Some of the regular supporters were curious and a little doubtful it would be able to match up to them.

Once seated for the 90 minute performance (with no break, please note), the audience was thrilled and captivated by the most spectacular piece of theatre ever to be seen in Cirencester - although the Romans might disagree were they still around.

The production was gripping and the time flew by.




One would expect professional actors to deliver high quality, faultless and utterly engaging performances and the cast members of ‘One Minute’ most certainly did. The story of a missing child and the five characters whose lives are both connected and affected by her disappearance was told both sensitively and with such raw emotion that the audience were swept up in a maelstrom of pure drama.

The highlight had to be the Barn Theatre’s incredible audio-visual technology which was exploited to the full by director Iwan Lewis and the design team of PJ McEvoy, Benjamin Collins and Christopher Cleal. A relatively simple set, consisting of two concentric lens-like circular arches plus a few versatile props, became a tube train thundering through a tunnel; a car in which the two detective characters staked out a suspect (with some superb audio/visual comedy thrown in); and the drawing room of the missing girl’s mother, amongst other things.  

Very clever. The pre-filmed background bios of each character were a great touch, realistically reflecting both their individual inner turmoils and the essence of the streets of London where the action took place.




Just like ‘The Secret Garden, ‘One Minute’ is another must see production. It runs until the 16th June.  

Warning: Contains some bad language. Not suitable for children.

Tickets from £14 from barntheatre.org.uk / 01285 648255.

Carlo Vuolo, Cirencester Scene Magazine, 24.05.18

Friday, 25 May 2018

Pet Talk with Corinimum Vets: Why Look After Your Pet's Teeth?

Visit www.coriniumvets.co.uk for more details!

Bettina Gruninger of Corinium Vets helps us answer: Why look after your pet’s teeth?


Clean teeth?
Unfortunately, although everyone appreciates the need for dental care, most pets do not receive adequate attention and may end up suffering as a result. It is important for your pet’s teeth and gums to be checked regularly to look out for any signs of problems.

How do I know if my pet is suffering from a dental problem?

A healthy mouth usually has pink gums, and bright white teeth. Bad breath is often the first indication that a pet has problems with teeth and gums. Bad breath is often caused by plaque bacteria, which also cause inflammation of the gums. This will be noticeable as redness, swelling and a tendency to bleed. Inflammation over time results in damage to the fibres that hold the teeth in their sockets in the jaw bone. Plaque turns into tartar, a hardened and calcified form of plaque. This attracts more plaque to form. Tartar is hard and can usually only be removed by a vet under general anaesthesia. Severe gum disease, tooth ache and eventually tooth loss can follow if dental disease remains untreated. Furthermore there is evidence that links untreated dental disease with other conditions such as heart and kidney disease, reducing the life expectancy of pets.

How can I keep my pet’s teeth healthy?
Tooth brushing started at puppy or kitten age is the best way to remove plaque. Feeding kibble, veterinary dental diets and chews can be help. Food supplements, mouth rinses and gels are also available.  If you suspect that your pet suffers from dental disease don’t ignore it. Book an appointment with our team of vets and vet nurses at Corinium Veterinary Surgery who will discuss the best options for dental prophylaxis and treatment with you. Please let us advise you on caring for your pet’s teeth.
Bettina Gruninger (Veterinary Surgeon)

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Country Matters by The Hodge May 2018 Front Gardens and Three Counties

Could your garden get into the Chelsea Flower Show?
“I sipt each flower,
I chang’d ev’ry hour,
But here ev’ry flower is united.”

John Gay 1685-1732 ‘The Beggar’s Opera, Act I, sc. Xiii’

With only few exceptions, we are all gardeners of some sort in this Cotswold idyll surrounding Cirencester where the Scene is distributed. Some spend thousands of pounds and keep their gardens in pristine order; lawns immaculately manicured; beds a constant blaze of glorious colour. Others struggle to find the time or motivation and their green spaces may be more of a wilderness but that too can be useful to wildlife so anyone of that ilk can hold their heads up as modern ecowarriors. Perhaps the exceptions are those who concrete over their plot of earth to provide mud-free parking but this is less of an occurrence hereabouts than in the big cities.

So with spring at last in the air, (well, it was when I wrote this!), most of us will be turning our thoughts to new growth, new challenges – the weeds always seem to be so healthy – and exciting new offers of glorious flowering, scented, abundant, growths which would be so perfect in a new pot on the patio or in that bare patch in the front border where the snow killed off something else. The pictures in the papers or the seed catalogues are always so enticing, so perfect and immaculate. You never see a dandelion growing out of the pot or the ravages of the army of slugs that sneak out at night in your own small plot. How many times have you, like me, succumbed to the marketing temptation and sent off your precious pennies to get back, some weeks later, a weedy little plug plant which you carefully nurture and, following the detailed instructions similar in complexity to those accompanying a new TV, so that six weeks later it is deemed fit to plant out and lo! - some days go by and you return to inspect same to find it has disappeared from this existence so completely that if it wasn’t for the forlorn label remaining, it might all have been some very detailed dream.

As with most things, I am of an age where experience now tells me that I’m better off seeing my potential purchase in the flesh and choosing from a selection the one that I think is healthiest/biggest/has most buds/or what have you. Garden Centres are OK for this to an extent but some are really a pricing rip-off – it pays to shop around! – and they don’t necessarily have all the exciting new innovations or varieties that you find in real nurseries.

I have never been to Chelsea Flower Show but knowing the size of it and seeing the crowds on television I’m not convinced that, unless I were granted a private viewing, I would see or learn very much although I would like the experience, just once. Instead I shall visit the RHS Malvern Spring Festival at the Three Counties Showground (Gloucestershire being one of those three). It is spread over a far bigger area than Chelsea and although it attracts crowds, you can get round and see some fantastic sights with their own show gardens as well as hundreds and hundreds of specialist nurseries selling plants and offering knowledgeable advice. No, they are not cheap either – unless you’re willing to wait to packing up time on the last day and fancy your haggling skills – but the sheer experience is exhilarating and you really do get to see and smell a huge variety that even the most detailed catalogue cannot begin to match.

If you fancy the idea, the show is on from 10th-13th May, (the first day is reserved for RHS Members only), there is free parking and plenty of refreshment stalls although you can also take your own lunch and enjoy a picnic. For detailed information, visit www.threecounties.co.uk

Alison Fielden & CO: Domestic Abuse May 2018

Visit www.alisonfielden.co.uk for more info

Domestic Abuse, Controlling and Coercive Behaviour
It is only in the very recent past that both criminal and family law have fully evolved to provide real recognition and protection for adults and children in abusive relationships.
A new criminal offence of Controlling and Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Familial Relationship was created three years ago with The Serious Crime Act 2015, which was a game changer. Punishable by up to five years in prison, 2018 sentencing guidelines for those convicted of this offence recognises that the crime is all the more serious for having been committed in a home, between people in a relationship.
Coercive behaviour is defined as “a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour”.
Controlling behaviour is defined as “a continuing act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”
The Home Office recently published guidelines listing characteristics of behaviour that might constitute an offence which include:
·         Isolating a person from their friends and family;
·         Monitoring their time;
·         Monitoring a person online or using spyware;
·         Taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they can go, who they can see, what to wear and when they can sleep;
·         Depriving them of access to support services, such as specialist support or medical services;
·         Repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless;
·         Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim;
·         Forcing the victim to take part in criminal activity such as shoplifting, neglect or abuse of children to encourage self-blame and prevent disclosure to authorities;
·         Financial abuse including control of finances, such as only allowing a person a punitive allowance;
·         Threats to hurt or kill or threats to a child;
·         Threats to reveal or publish private information (e.g. threatening to ‘out’ someone);
·         Assault;
·         Criminal damage (such as destruction of household goods);
·         Rape;
·         Preventing a person from having access to transport or from working.
In November 2017, the family Court system was also given directions about how to engage with abusive relationships in cases involving children, essentially adopting the same definitions of controlling and coercive behaviour that applies for criminal law enforcement agencies.
Recognition was given to the fact that "domestic abuse is harmful to children, and/or puts children at risk of harm, whether they are subjected to domestic abuse, or witness one of their parents being violent or abusive to the other parent, or live in a home in which domestic abuse is perpetrated (even if the child is too young to be conscious of the behaviour). Children may suffer direct physical, psychological and/or emotional harm from living with domestic abuse, and may also suffer harm indirectly where the domestic abuse impairs the parenting capacity of either or both of their parents." The result is that Family Courts judging an abusive parent may put restrictions on or, in extreme cases, eliminate their ability to spend time with their children.
The expression “domestic violence” has been superceded by the recognition that “domestic abuse” can be psychological, sexual, emotional and financial as well as violent. Domestic abuse is now seen as more serious than abuse and violence in a non-domestic environment.
On top of all this we have a greater understanding as a society of this terrible behaviour which encourages friends and family to help victims.
We are not yet at the stage where divorce courts make awards to victims of abuse to compensate for the treatment they have suffered. This area remains unchanged. The division of assets and income of a marriage are usually determined based on needs save in exceptional cases. However it is likely that we will see an increase in the victims of abuse asking the Courts to take conduct into account when making awards on divorce and we wait to see what happens.
Here at Alison Fielden & Co, Heather Weavill and Steven Barratt have many years of experience in assisting those who have been victims of Domestic Abuse to obtain Orders protecting themselves and their children. For an appointment ring 01285653261, legal aid may be available if financially eligible.

Alison Fielden & Co: Lasting Power of Attorney April 2018


Visit www.alisonfielden.co.uk for more info
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY – NOT JUST FOR THE ELDERLY

Mental and physical incapacity can hit at any time, which is why we recommend planning ahead to ease the potential burden on loved ones
We all know that we should write a will, but too few of us know we should also consider something called lasting power of attorney.
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) gives another individual the legal authority to look after specific aspects of your financial affairs or health and welfare should you lose the capacity to do so. It's not just for the elderly; younger people may become incapacitated through accident or illness.
If you do not have an LPA in place and later become mentally incapacitated, relatives may face long delays and expense in applying to the court of protection to get access and take control of your assets and finances.
LPAs are designed to be recognised by financial institutions, care homes and local authorities, as well as tax, benefits and pension authorities. They are legal documents that can be set up relatively cheaply, with the help of a solicitor. You may consider having one alongside your will.
LPAs were introduced in October 2007, replacing the previous system of enduring powers of attorney (EPA) – although an EPA created before October 2007 remains valid.
There are two types of LPA: one that can cover decisions about money matters, known as a property and financial affairs LPA, and one that can cover decisions about healthcare, known as a personal welfare LPA. A key difference is that a property and financial affairs LPA can be used while someone still has capacity, whereas a personal welfare LPA can only be used once they have lost it.
A person administering a property and financial affairs LPA can make decisions on things such as buying and selling your property, dealing with your bills, running your bank accounts and investing your money. If they have a personal welfare LPA, they can generally make decisions about where you should live, how you should be treated medically, what you should eat and who you should have contact with.
You may choose anyone you trust as your attorney, provided they are over 18, not bankrupt and they are willing to take on the role, which is a serious responsibility. It is their duty to make all decisions in your best interests and they must follow certain principles set out in the Mental Capacity Act aimed at making sure you are encouraged to make your own decisions where possible.
To protect your interests, an LPA must be signed by a certificate provider – a solicitor or someone else of your choosing – who certifies that you understand the LPA and have not been pressurised into signing it.
At Alison Fielden & Co, we make the process of obtaining your LPA’s simple and straightforward, and ensure that the LPAs do exactly what you need them to.
Please call Tina Amid for further information or to arrange an appointment on 01285 653261.