Monday, 12 February 2018

Rekindle Feb 18 Article: Children in Need

CHILDREN IN NEED by Virginia Stourton, Rekindle

I was interested to read that Parents are now seeking Coaches for their children as young as four. Considering that the mainstream coaching industry is now worth £1.5 billion worldwide there is a good chance that parents making use of the system themselves can see advantages that will assist their children.

Children as well as adults are under a great deal of pressure to perform to a high standard. Falling short of ideals today would appear to cause more trauma than previously perceived.

Never mind get over it are no longer robust enough to see one through.

Yes, it is annoying when your little angel goes upstairs and slams the bedroom door leaving a devotedly cooked meal on the table.

Ok you have not been there, so you won’t know that the knee jerk reaction is to run upstairs and plead for them to come down.

Worse, if you are a bit fraught you find yourself apologising and saying of course it was ok for the mobile to be used while eating as you had not thought it might be an emergency. Bah! If this parenting, then roll on the coach for four-year olds.

So, you ask how is it done? It begins with detailed conversations with the parents. This is best not done with a drink in your hand.

Then time spent getting to know the child at home. That’s why the nondisclosure of drink could be important.

Playing games before moving on to key activities which include magic breathing. A slow deep breath that brings a child back into the moment. (no mention of where they were when out of the moment- never mind)

Each child gets a small soft toy called a breathing buddie which can rest on their stomachs enabling them to see them rise and fall.

Anger emotions are also played through puppets. The results seem good for which there is not room to describe here.

My own parenting, I now see was shamefully lacking. I was not beyond sitting outside the slammed bedroom door with a saucepan of delicious melted chocolate- just enough for me.

On complaining about an outrageous telephone bill (no mobiles then) the teenage culprit threatened to leave home. My answer: so am I

I guess it’s me who needs the breathing buddie now.

Love is the best remedy and if coaching four-year olds is a way of showing this who am I to knock it.
For more info about Rekindle contact or call 07799 066464 / 01285 720833

The Body Workshop Cirencester-Change the way your mind and body feel!

Are you fed up of your body feeling a certain way? If so why not look at changing the way you take care of your mind and body by exploring a new exercise approach.

Over the last 10 years research has been building regarding neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections.  With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway - and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.

How does this link into Pilates? Well Joesph Pilates’ work focused on connecting the mind and body, while doing his exercises in order to change how his mind and body felt.

We Offer…...
MatGroup exercise class done on a mat (max 12 per class) 
Reformer - using a spring resistance machine, that you can lie, sit and stand on (max 6 per class)
Studio - individually tailored programmes using all of the Pilates equipment (max 4 per class). Suitable for those who maybe rehabilitating from injury.
Seated - for those less mobile and cant get up and down from the floor easily.

We also offer weekly Franklin Method Workouts which use the same idea that thoughts and images can change and improve how you move and feel. This conditioning class will raise your heart rate, tone your whole body and make you feel great. Only available in Cirencester at The Body Workshop Studios.

For more information call/email us 01285 655446/ or visit

Phoenix Gardeners get Ready for Spring

Phoenix Gardeners getting ready for spring
Phoenix Gardeners are already thinking about the spring and how nice Cirencester will look this summer.  

Over 2000 plug plants are on order, ready to be planted up in March to go out into the town’s tubs and hanging baskets.  Meg Blumsom, co-ordinator said “Each year we have a different colour scheme and aim for a relaxed rather than municipal planting style”.
Money to pay for the flowers is mostly raised by the group of volunteers themselves.  This year they will hold a coffee morning on March 7th in Bingham Gallery, and a plant sale in the market place in May.  Some tubs are sponsored by local groups or businesses that are keen to see the town look a nice place, and it is hoped that more of these will come forward.
But the group also needs volunteers to help keep the 50 tubs looking their best.  Volunteers are asked to give about half an hour a week over the summer to mind one or two tubs by watering, dead-heading etc and can be carried out at times to suit your needs.
If you prefer a regular commitment, then a small group meets fortnightly on a Wednesday to maintain the main flower bed in the Abbey Grounds. 
If you are interested in volunteering, or helping in any other way then please get in touch. or telephone 01285 657696

Pet Talk with Corinium Vets Feb 18: How to Get Pets in Cars!

Pets in Cars!
Tips to help a pet get used to the car

Give your dog treats in the car without actually driving anywhere. Keep the rides very short and positive. Take your puppy on short car rides as early as possible.
Get your dog used to windshield wipers. Use pheromone treatments, Adaptil collar or Adaptil Spray in the car, 30 minutes before the journey. You could try ginger tablets for dogs for car sickness. Phone your veterinary surgeon to discuss using more potent motion sickness medicine if this fails.

Cats should get used to the carrier before travelling. Never put it away, so it doesn’t only appear when there is a vet visit. Place absorbable bedding material (a large towel or an incontinence pad) in the carrier to avoid them having to sit in their mess if they have an accident. Familiar smells make your cat less stressed. Encourage your cat to sleep or be feed in the carrier. This allows the cat to pass it’s smell onto the carrier and bedding material. You can rub a cloth around the cat’s face to pick up the smell and place this in the carrier. Spray the carrier and the car with Feliway pheromone spray, 30 minutes before travelling. Cover the carrier with a towel or blanket.
The Highway Code states that drivers need to ensure that dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly. You should use of a dog seat belt harness, pet carrier, crate, or guard as ways of restraining your pet while driving. Drivers who don’t restrain dogs and cats while on the move are not just breaking the law, they could also be invalidating their car insurance.

Please feel free to contact our team at Corinium Veterinary Surgery if you need more tips and advice.

Local Aviation Scholarships at Cotswold Airport

Are you or someone you know eligible?
Cotswold Airport Aviation Scholarships 2018 – Dates Released!
The hugely popular ‘Cotswold Airport Aviation Scholarship’, which launched back in 2007, will be open for 2018 applications from Monday 22nd January, with a closing date on Friday 30th March. Twenty successful applicants will be invited to the interview stage of the application process on Saturday 21st April. Following the interviews, the 10 final scholars will be selected for the programme, which runs from Monday 6th to Friday 17th August (weekdays only).
The unique industry scholarship programme has changed the lives of many young people over its ten year history, seeing scholars embarking on fantastic careers in the world of aviation, from engineering to commercial flying (press case studies available). The programme was founded by Cotswold Airport owner, Ronan Harvey, an ex-RAF engineer, aviation expert and successful entrepreneur, who wanted to open up the braod and exciting world of aviation career opportunities to young people from the local area.
The scholarship programme has been significantly enhanced, with the generous addition of a sponsorship package from Gulf Aviation. 2018 marks the second consecutive year that Gulf Aviation has supported this initiative, enabling the organisers to include additional aviation industry site visits such as Bristol International Airport; an increased number of loggable fling hours; and drone tuition with on-site UAV Academy.
2018 marks the eleventh year of the Cotswold Airport Aviation Scholarship and has resonance and importance given 2018 also marks the 100th year of the founding of the RAF and the centenary of the end of WWI. In celebration of these two historic anniversaries, the best performer of next year’s scholarship will be fully trained for their PPL (Private Pilot’s Licence) at Cotswold Airport, funded by the scholarship programme.

Students from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Bristol and Berkshire can apply. Applicants must be 14 to 18 years of age on the 6th August 2018. Applications can be submitted online at

Stroud Choral Presents Bach St John Passion


A warm welcome awaits you at Stroud Choral Society’s Spring Concert at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Cirencester on Saturday 10th March at 7.00pm

After performing in other venues recently such as Tewkesbury Abbey and Bath Abbey this will be our first concert in Cirencester. We are very excited about this and are looking forward with great anticipation to coming back to perform in the Cotswolds especially at such a wonderful venue. We are one of the oldest choral societies in the country and were founded in the first part of the nineteenth century following the opening of the Stroud Subscription Rooms in 1834. We currently have around 140 members of all ages.

The St John Passion was written during Bach's first year as director of church music in Leipzig and was first performed on April 7, 1724. The structure of the work falls in two halves narrating the Passion of Christ as told in the Gospel of John. Ariosos and arias reflect on the action, and chorales use hymn tunes and texts that would have been familiar to a contemporary congregation. Compared with the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion has been described as more extravagant, with an expressive immediacy, at times more unbridled and less "finished". Our performance falls just before Easter which of course is the perfect time for such an emotional and moving piece.

The Society, along with the excellent Canzona Period Ensemble and four professional soloists, will be conducted by Huw Williams who is also Director of Music at Bath Abbey.

Tickets are £15 (under 16’s free) and are available from Cirencester Visitor Centre on 01285 654180, via the box office at 01453 760900, from Choir members or on the door.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Corinium Radio Feb 18

New Corinium Radio Presenter Seeks Old CDs

Kate Jones our new volunteer presenter
A new volunteer with Cirencester’s Corinium Radio is offering to help listeners with their housework. Kate Jones, the local community radio station’s latest presenter, has come up with a way of cutting the dusting.

She’s launched an appeal for supporters of the station to donate old CDs which she can use in her new music and lifestyle show.
And, of course, they’ll also help boost the library of Corinium Radio, which still relies quite heavily on the CD format.
Said Kate, “With people often choosing to have a clear-out after Christmas, I thought this might be a good time to ask if they felt they could donate some of their old CDs.

“All discs will be greatly appreciated by the station, whether the music is modern or not and regardless of the style.”

At the time of writing, Kate was gearing up to launch her new programme ‘Podcast Live With Kate’ and was looking to include a wide range of both contemporary and older music tracks.
Said station spokesman Tony Coleman, “We’d better come clean and make it clear that Kate won’t actually be coming round to listeners’ homes to help with the chores.

“She just felt that if people were kind enough to donate CDs they weren’t using anymore they would have fewer things to dust.”
Donated CDs can be posted through the door or left at the reception of Bingham House in Cirencester where CR has its base.

For more about the appeal or if you think you could help run the station contact Corinium Radio chair Carole Boydell on 07776 144033.

Fieldfare Cafe Thistledown

Ready to serve.
Fieldfare Café is a new development at Thistledown Farm. We are open throughout the winter Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 4:30pm. Lunch is served 12pm – 2:30pm Wednesday to Friday and 12pm – 3pm Saturday & Sunday. Brunch is served 9:30am – 11:30am Friday to Sunday. 
For most of the year we’re open Wednesday – Sunday, and throughout the summer holidays we’re open every day, offering gourmet coffee, fine teas and a wide range of cold drinks as well as a selection of homemade cakes and patisseries. Food from our clay oven and barbecue is served Wednesday – Sunday. Pizzas are served 5pm – 8pm Fri & Sat from April to October. We stay open late at the weekend for wood-fired sourdough pizza nights – for most of our camping season this is both Friday and Saturday night. Booking is essential for all services as we serve a limited number of dishes – 01453 860420.
We’re fully licensed (no BYO) and stock local beers, ciders, wines and even local gin! We also serve wines and prosecco from further afield!
An example dish from Fieldfare Cafe.
Please see our menu on the website for the week’s dishes. All of our food is cooked using a clay oven which we made ourselves, or our ceramic barbecue. Much of the food is influenced by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, with lots of herbs and spices used to create fresh and flavourful dishes. The menu is limited, and it’s our intention to only offer a small range of fresh foods. Nearly all of the meat we use is both free range and local (although occasionally we may have to source from elsewhere). We also use our own lamb and our polytunnel supplies some of the vegetables, salads and herbs.
We have seating indoors and outside, including tables under a clear roof so you can sit out even when it’s raining. Fieldfare is set in acres of beautiful Cotswold valley and café visitors are free to explore the upper field around the café (lower fields are strictly for campers). Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads at all times.
Fieldfare Cafe is at Tinkley Lane, Nympsfield, GL10 3UH

Appearing as a Witness in Family Court Cases

Tips for Parents (and others) appearing as witnesses in Family Cases.

By Steven Barratt Family Law Solicitor from Alison Fielden & Co Tel 01285 653261

What about your evidence? Coaching a witness (rehearsing questions and answers) is not permitted. But there is nothing wrong with explaining to a witness how things work, and how best to get your message across.

What happens

The witness (you) goes to the witness box (it might be a box you stand or sit in or it might be a table). You swear an oath (religious promise) or you affirm (same thing but no God). You are promising to tell the truth - make sure you do.

Don’t refer to notes unless the judge has agreed that you can.

You will be asked to confirm that any statements you have prepared are true. You’ll be taken to each page in the court bundle to check and identify the documents. Make sure you have re-read them before you give evidence. If you spot any errors, let your lawyer know in advance and say you want to correct something at this point.

You will probably be asked some questions to update the court of anything important that has happened since your last statement, any change in your position or to expand on anything missed out of your statements (if the judge agrees). This is called “Examination in chief”.

The other lawyers will now be able to ask you questions in turn. This is called cross examination. At the end your lawyer will have a brief chance to ask you a few more questions dealing with anything unexpected that has cropped up. This is called re-examination. Often your lawyer will not ask anything, so don’t worry if this doesn’t happen.

The judge may ask questions throughout, at the end (and they may then ask the lawyers if they have extra questions as a result) or not at all.

Giving your evidence

Answer all the questions.

If you don’t understand the question, say so.

If you forgot the question, say so.

If you don’t know the answer say you don’t know the answer.

Answer the question you are asked straightforwardly, honestly and simply.

Don’t answer the question you wish you had been asked, answer the one you have been asked.

Don’t disagree just because they are the lawyer for the “other side”. Don’t get cross.

Keep calm. Talk slowly. Take a breath. The judge has to take a note so you need to go slow enough for them to write / type.

Don’t ask questions in reply. The lawyer will just say “I’m not here to answer questions" and that’s just annoying for everyone. Their job is to ask questions. Your job at the moment is to answer them if you can.

Stick to what you did, said or saw – sometimes people are so busy trying to show they didn’t do something (like punching their ex for example) by making clever points about the weaknesses in the evidence against them (she didn’t report it, nobody saw it) that they forget to actually say what happened – “that’s not true” or “that didn’t happen” or “this is what happened” is far more helpful to a judge than “if that happened she would have reported it / shown someone a bruise”.

Watch the judge. Directing your answer to the judge will be less stressful than looking at the social worker or your ex or the lawyer asking you horrid questions. It will also help you make sure they are keeping up, will help the judge assess your evidence, and will help you assess their reaction.

If you need a break because you are upset or you need a wee or you feel sick – say so

If you need help with finding a page say so.

If you have problems reading, hearing or understanding certain words say so.

If you are intimidated by the behaviour of someone in court (for example an ex is staring at you) – say so.

Try not to swear – but if you are explaining what you or someone else said on a particular occasion that’s fine.

Tell it like it is. Don’t sugar coat. Be frank and honest.

One last thing : Sometimes there will be a break in your evidence. You will be warned by your lawyer and / or the judge that you must not speak to anyone about your evidence in this break. It’s better that you don’t spend time over any lunch break with someone else so that no one can accuse you of discussing your evidence with them.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Country Matters Feb by The Hodge 18

Country Matters by The Hodge

“On average we all consume very much fewer calories than we did when rationing was in place. Thus it's not an increase in calorie consumption that is causing the rise in obesity. It just simply isn't. Indeed, if we all returned to that wartime diet we'd all gain substantial amounts of weight.”
The Adam Smith Institute 2015

The year 2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War I – The Great War - and as we approach the end of the year there will be a huge amount of activity in terms of commemorating the peace and the many thousands of brave men who died in what was a truly horrific conflict. My own grandfather was killed on 30th September 1917. His citation records that he died a hero but so did almost all the others.

But my little piece this month is not about the horrors of trench warfare but more about what was happening back at home to those whom the servicemen left behind. We are used to hearing about the privations during the Second World War as my parent’s generation experienced it first-hand. Rationing was widespread and harsh from the early days of 1940 but was it the same in 1914?

The short answer is no, it wasn’t. Firstly, the machinery of warfare was more primitive in the First World War. Aeroplanes were biplanes or triplanes, not very fast and without the massive bomb carrying capacity of a Wellington or Lancaster for instance. Submarines were basic too and it wasn’t until towards the end of WW1 that the Germans tried to starve Britain into submission by sinking merchant ships carrying supplies.

So whilst in the Second World War rationing began within a year with swingeing privations, there was little interference in the food market in WW1 until 1917, and then only in a limited fashion. In 1940, the rations that an adult could obtain for a week were as follows: butter - 50g/2oz; sugar – 225g/8oz; cheese – 50g/2oz; bacon or ham – 100g/4oz; meat – 1s/2d worth (roughly 6p); eggs – 1; margarine – 100g/4oz; tea – 50g/2oz; milk – 1.8l/3 pints (sometimes dropping to 1.2l/2 pints). There were also monthly rations on jam – 225g/1/2lb; dried eggs – 1 x packet; sweets – 350g/12oz. Imagine, for a moment, your weekly supermarket shop, being so restricted. You certainly would not need a trolley.

By contrast, interference in the food market did not commence until 1916 when it became illegal to consume more than two lunchtime courses or three for dinner/supper in any one establishment. However, those determined to eat their fill could circumvent this by eating their requisite courses in one venue then decamping to another for a further splurge. Fines were also introduced for anyone found feeding pigeons or stray animals.

One hundred years ago this month, voluntary rationing was introduced, (no, I have no idea how that worked either), and then as U-boat attacks increased, rationing on a more serious basis was begun in July 1918 on butter, margarine, lard, meat and sugar. But our forebears were already getting used to the idea of shortages as food was simply running out before then. In January 1918 there was a meat shortage which meant that many London butchers had no stock at all. Government intervened and secured limited mutton supplies which were reserved for the poorer areas so at least some in the East End got some form of Sunday lunch whilst those in more prosperous areas did without.

The government also interfered – something they’re good at – in the pricing structure for farmers so that under the 1918 restrictions, their income from beef animals fell by 25% overnight and they then made a loss on every one sold. A great incentive to work hard to feed the country!

Whatever you are eating this coming month, a century on, I’m sure it will be a lot better than anyone was enjoying back then or in the Second World War. Let’s drink a toast to peace!