Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Live Action Role Play Workshop at CrossFit Cirencester! April 9th, Free Entry

All ages fun at CrossFit!

Will Carver is running a live action role play sword workshop at CrossFit Cirencester on 9th April. 11:00. Live action role play is an interactive game style. It involves people playing in character and following a story line, like a computer game, but in real life! Keeping you fit and cunning, this phenomenon is now growing more mainstream in Britain. And with kids stuck to their consoles, it can only be a positive thing to get them running about instead!

Will has his own story line, which is based in 873 A.D. and focuses on King Alfred’s campaign against the Danes. Though not based on true events, the mystery surrounding the dark ages has meant a great deal of artistic licence can be drawn to make the Gods of the Pagans and magic of cunning folk a reality.

But before donning the costumes and playing the game, basic medieval weapons techniques must be learned! It is a game with skill involved, and rules to be followed. Everyone is welcome and the April 9th workshop is free!

Get your place by contacting David Long below:

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Leon Daye Bird on a Wire Review

Leon at the Vaults, where the CD is on

Evan Burgess reviews Leon Daye's latest offering...
Leon Daye is a stalwart of the local music scene, regularly entertaining the people of Cirencester with subtle and classy covers. Bird on a Wire is a selection of Leon Daye’s own music, which has a quality that means in a live show his own compositions seamlessly slip in with the covers. There is a mixture of tones that remind me of early R.E.M mixed with Crowded House and Dire Straits. “Hand on My Heart” has a feeling similar to a Crowded House song sang by the Squeeze.

Title track ‘Bird on a Wire’ is a lively acoustic song that has great vocals and instrumentation. With
Get your copy and support the Phoenix Festival
at the same time!
some nice hand clapping, the song has a live feel. ‘The Perfect Girl’ is a ballad that has a calm and relaxing quality. Sang and played brilliantly, when performed live the vocals are of just as crisp as on the recording.

The record is available from the Vaults in Cirencester, and also from the man himself. If you are keen to get a copy, pop down to a Leon Daye gig or get in touch via Only £5 it is worth every penny! If you need a musician, don’t hesitate to book Leon too. If you’re on Spotify or iTunes or Amazon you can also stream/buy the songs. From the sale of each EP £1 goes towards the Phoenix Festival!

Follow Leon on Facebook here!

Win 2 Tickets for the Wizard of Oz! Interview with StageSmart founder Iwan Lewis.

Get your ticket
StageSmart arrived in Cirencester and immediately began to draw interest from the community. Teaching musical theatre, all the core skills of acting, singing and dancing are comprehensively covered. Director Benn-Llewellyn Williams, choreographer Kelly-Marie Hook and musical director  Rudy Percival form the backbone of the team, and new member Katy Sirr is teaching 4-6 year olds.

Iwan Lewis decided to come to Cirencester after fond memories of learning stage-craft
In preparation.
with Maria Jagusz of MJ-UK.  Based at Ingleside house, StageSmart is overseeing a massive conversion where the Barn Theatre will be improved and developed. But first, StageSmart is bringing the Wizard of Oz to the Bingham Hall, on the 7th-9th.

StageSmart allows actors aged 4-18 practice their skills and perform for the local community, which Iwan believes offers other benefits, which he has seen in his own life. Increased confidence, public speaking, team work and fitness are all compliments to the foundations given by musical theatre.

The Wizard of Oz was chosen after success with the Clockmaker’s Daughter and The Christmas Spectacular. Wanting to go a level higher, a huge musical was chosen that could do justice to three nights at the Bingham.
Iwan Lewis

The cast is made up of members of the StageSmart academy, "We have an incredible cast all of which are members of the StageSmartAcademy. Many of which I can predict will be future West End Stars. There is definitely something in the water here in Cirencester as I am always amazed at the talent that keeps on popping up."

The Wizard of Oz is showing on the 7th-9th of April at the Bingham Hall, with doors opening at 19:30.

To win two free tickets for the Wizard of Oz, simply answer this question:

What age was Judy Garland when she played the role of Dorothy Gale in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Answers can be submitted to

Like StageSmart on facebook here.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Today in Cirencester, Head Down to the Mini Phoenix!

The Mini Phoenix is taking place at the
Sound crew, publicans and organisers get ready!
Marlborough Arms, right now!

With a great line up of local acts, amazing selections of beer and cider, head down to the Marlborough Arms today and be entertained until midnight! Decorated for the festival season, Cirencester is treated to excellent weather today. That means if you have the free time, you have an obligation to get on a spare hay bale and enjoy the music.
The event will raise money towards August's Phoenix Festival in the Abbey Grounds, and memorabilia will be auctioned. You may well be a lucky winner by the end of the day!

The day started at 13:00 with Rob Grace, and will be headlined by Champagne Charlie. Inbetween another 10 acts will perform. Find out more information here:

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Get Ready for Obstacle Courses with CrossFit Cirencester...

How did I end up here?

CrossFit Cirencester is offering people the chance toprepare for obstacle runs, such as the Tough Mudder coming up in August. Learning to navigate an assault course isn’t easy, so using a competent guide with the equipment to mimic the challenges ahead is a smart choice.

Conquer Walls and Ropes
Climbing a rope is one of the hardest things to
Start on ground with dominant leg extended.
Wrap rope around inner thigh and over foot.
As children look on: With hands hanging back on rope,
pull feet up. The rope must remain wrapped around the
dominant leg in the same manner.
practice as the scale makes it hard to set this up at home. CrossFit Cirencester have two ropes that can be used to hone rope climbing drills. Not only that but the main frame’s rigging is available to get the raw skills for climbing walls and monkey bars.

With the free foot, step on the rope wrapped around the
dominant foot and stand up! Allow the rope to move through
your hands, or move one hand at a time.
One of the best way to get over a wall is using a muscle up technique, similar to how a gymnast gets on a bar. The CrossFit muscle up can be done supported with bands, or a gym instructor! Don’t be put off if you don’t feel like you can currently support your own weight, as you will be in good hands.

Get Fit For Purpose
After learning techniques, it’s time for a work out! Explosive and dynamic movements are what is required for any obstacle course. This means that running and full body exercises help build up fitness for an obstacle course.

All this for only £5, give it a shot if you are in training for any obstacle based activity! It does afterall require the same price and time as a coffee and croissant.

The next obstacle course lesson is on April 16th at 11:00. Assure your place there by getting in touch:

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Making Decisions by Hilary Norris-Evans

Use your mind as medicine
 In January’s issue Hilary Norris-Evans talked about why we find it hard to make decisions. In this month’s article, here are some good strategies for helping you make the best decisions. Hilary can help you with all sorts of problems with only the power of the mind. If you would rather find a natural solution to your problems, consider Hilary's experienced help. Apply these tips to your life and see what happens!

·         Just know that your problem actually is the human condition. It’s how life is. We can never really know the future and we can’t have everything we want in life.
·         Spend some time working out the consequences of each option, checking out what values matter most to you and finding out what your gut feelings are telling you.
·         Good enough decisions are fine. Perfect decisions are rare.
·         Work out ,with a plan, how you can help yourself stick to your decision
·         Spend less time on unimportant decisions, asking yourself if this will really make a difference to your life anyway.
·         Having made a decision, stick to it and give it time to work out. If you are a worrier, to help you stop worrying, just work out  quickly, plan A, B, and C for what to do if it goes wrong and then you can stop worrying anyway
·         You can always talk through your decision with someone else to get some outside perspective.

Decisions are just that. The best option you think you can feasibly take in any situation. Stop worrying; some’ bad’ decisions are part of life’s rich pattern and may even take you in some unexpected but surprisingly happy directions. Agonising just makes you freeze. Yet again, NLP says: ‘If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different, anything different.’ Note the ‘anything.’ We need to live life, get out of our comfort zone whilst having a routine we can fall back on, enjoy our friends and loved ones, laugh lots and stop obsessing about perfection. The perfect life just doesn’t exist, whatever others may help tell you.

Happy to help!
Hilary Norris-Evans helps you get the best out of yourself in work and personal life, using hypnotherapy, NLP, stress management, mindfulness and coaching techniques. She trains and supervises new and experienced hypnotherapists and teaches mindfulness. The next mindfulness courses start in Spring 2016. Contact her on 07887714892 or or look at her websites, or

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Good Hedges Good Neighbours by Geoff Carr

Boundaries can help with neighbours!

Good Hedges, Good Neighbours
By Geoff Carr
(Twitter @GeoffCarr2)


Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States is known to have said, “Love thy neighbour, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” Given how many different cultures have versions of this seemingly contradictory proverb, it clearly represents a common sentiment among neighbours everywhere. But how can you be neighbourly if you are divided by hedges? These sentiments are not totally contradictory and are probably better known by the saying “Good fences make good neighbours. If you know where you stand, where your property begins and ends, it makes for better relationships.
However, disputes over boundaries and hedges can and do occur all too frequently and can lead to misery on both sides of the line. Below is a quote about hedges and boundaries that I’ve copied from the UK Government website.

You must try to settle a dispute about a high hedge informally before the council can intervene.
Ask your council for a complaint form if the hedge is all of these:

  • 2 or more mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs
  • over 2 metres tall
  • affecting your enjoyment of your home or garden because it’s too tall

You might have to pay the council a fee to consider your complaint. .
When you can trim hedges or trees
You can trim branches or roots that cross into your property from a neighbour’s property or a public road.
You can only trim up to the property boundary. If you do more than this, your neighbour could take you to court for damaging their property.
If you live in a conservation area, or the trees in the hedge are protected by a ‘tree preservation order’, you might need your council’s permission to trim them.
If your property borders a road
The highways authority can ask you to cut back hedges or trees on your property if they’re causing an obstruction in the road. If you refuse, they can go into your property without your permission to do the work themselves. They may charge you for this.
Property damage from hedges
Your neighbour is responsible for maintaining their hedges so they don’t, for example, damage your property or grow too high. If they do damage your property, your neighbour may be liable.

Although hedges are most commonly associated with boundaries between properties they also perform a major design function within the garden too. Indeed hedging plants are not restricted to the usual suspects such as Beech, Yew, Laurel, Privet or Leylandii. More ornate examples could include Choisya ternata, Berberis, Euonymus, Cotoneaster, Hydrangea, Escallonia, Hypericum, Griselinia littoralis, Pyracantha, Hibiscus, Rose, Lavender, Spiraea, Lonicera or Bamboo. If you’re looking for a mixed, native country hedge selection I would recommend Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Field Maple, Hazel, Dogwood, Spindle, Crab Apple and Wayfaring tree.

My favourite hedging plants are those that can be pruned hard and kept well within the confines of their own space. Plants such as Beech, Yew, Privet, Laural, Holly, Pyracantha and Photinia will all regenerate if pruned back to the main stem and can thus be kept well behaved. Other plants such as Leylandii if allowed to outgrow their allotted space will not regenerate if cut back hard but will take years to simply regrow back to where you didn’t want them. And, talking of trimming hedges, you might like to know that the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds both state that you should not prune between 1st March and 31st August.
Geoff Carr

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Cirencester, Get Ready for the Front Garden Festival 2016

Calming clarity
Celebrating the Front Gardens of Cirencester and Surrounding Villages: May, June and July 2016

Now is the time to start thinking about joining the first ever Front Garden Festival of Cirencester and its surrounding villages.  This new and exciting horticultural festival will increase the already high level of pride displayed by many enthusiastic gardeners. 

This Festival is for you if you are lucky enough to have a public facing garden or access to a publicly visible plot that you think needs improving or even if you have a shop window that can display a planting scheme, anywhere that can be made
attractive equally for you and passersby. An interesting and lovingly crafted horticultural display can be your pride and joy when it bursts into life during late spring/early summer. With the Front Garden Festival 2016 you have the opportunity and incentive to really go to town on your efforts this year.

The floral spirit
Some late-spring sunshine and an abundance of blooming front gardens is all it takes to lift the spirit and gladden the heart during a journey around Cirencester and its surrounding villages. The Front Garden Festival 2016 will run during May, June and July and getting involved could not be easier; simply send details of where your horticultural display can be seen to Cirencester Scene (, no names or personal details are required. You will not need to allow public access to your garden or plot; the Front Garden Festival is for horticultural displays that can be readily seen by passers-by.  The list of participating displays will be printed in Cirencester Scene so that readers can make their own personal trail of places to visit.

Which colours will you feature?
If sharing your pride and joy with others is not enough incentive to get involved, then winning one of the Front Garden Festival prizes may entice you to join in.  Prizes will be awarded to the most interesting, adventurous and beautiful displays. Details of the generous prizes will be
disclosed as the time of the Festival gets nearer.  The more entries there are the more we will all benefit!

To get the ball rolling we invite you to send in photographs of your public-facing garden or plot from previous years. These photographs will feature in Cirencester Scene between now and when the Front Garden Festival 2016 starts in May.  This is a great opportunity to show off your lovely front garden from previous years and to reflect on how it might be changed or improved for the festival.  The examples shown here typify the spirit and fun that the Front Garden Festival is setting out to encourage and support.

Geoff Carr can help you!