FOCUS Magazine May June 2017

Lifestyle magazine for expats by expats living in the UK.

Lifestyle magazine for expats by expats living in the UK.


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M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 7



1 FOCUS The Magazine May/June September/Octobert 2017 2015

FOCUS www.focus-info.org

The Magazine 1


FOCUS is a unique community for expats and international

professionals living in the UK. Our multinational team share

their first-hand knowledge on all aspects of living and working

here. Members gain access to essential information, tried and

tested resources, events and seminars. Operating as a nonprofit

organisation we are proud to have been supporting

expats for over 35 years. We hope to see you soon at our

office in Central London!

13 Prince of Wales Terrace, London W8 5PG

Telephone 020 7937 7799 office@focus-info.org


Essential information

Pick up invaluable advice on living and working in the UK from

our team of expert expats.

Events & Seminars

Delve into our unique calendar designed for expats to connect,

learn and enjoy.

Career development for Expat Spouses

Kickstart your career search in the UK through our flexible and

highly successful programme.


Hit list of tried and tested resources recommended by

fellow expats.

is time of the year is probably one of the best to be in the UK. With

longer days and better weather the late spring and early summer

months in Britain come alive with a wonderful mix of the traditional

and the new. Strolling along a Victorian seaside pier enjoying an ice

cream in the sun, digging out your racquet and heading out for a game

of tennis, exploring the beautiful Wye Valley during the Hay literary

festival or perhaps strolling through London’s modern street food

markets are a few of the suggestions we have for you in this issue of

FOCUS. And to plan a memorable night out don’t miss our roundup

of the best entertainment apps. On a more practical side, if you’re

taking a career break or are interested in technology in the classroom

we have those topics, and several others, covered in this issue.

As ever FOCUS has a full schedule of excellent events and seminars

throughout May and June. However you choose

to enjoy the warmer months ahead we hope

you’ll continue to be involved in our community

and look forward to welcoming you to an event.

Francine Bosco


Catch regular FOCUS updates via our social

media channels. Find us @focus-info.org


FOCUS Magazine


Francine Bosco

Assistant Editor

Liz Mills

Art Director

Rebecca Hunt-Davis

Image Editor

Cindy Stern

Guide books

Handy material at your fingertips:

n Living in the UK

n Children in the UK

n Working in the UK


Vibrant lifestyle publication exploring British culture.


Our enthusiastic team welcomes you to stop by.

We’re here to help!

Monday–Thursday, 10am–4pm


Executive Director

Alessandra Gnudi

Deputy Executive Director

Nancy Dickinson

Director of Sponsor Relations

Eva Stock

Director of Finance

Irene Kuan

Director of Marketing

Stephanie Vogel

Director of Events & Seminars

Maria Renzi

Resource Manager

Paola Longobardi

Membership & Social Media Manager

Alexandra Casanova

Career Development Consultant

Denise Donoghue

Career Coaches

Satu Kreula, Geraldine McKendrick, Patricia Keener,

Vincent Pizzoni , Claudia Deniers, Nicolette Wykeman.

Karin Mueller


FOCUS The Magazine 1

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The Hay Festival page 14


The history of street food page 18

The Rules of British Etiquette page 9


4 British beaches and boardwalks

Enjoying Victorian seaside towns

9 The Rules of Engagement

Getting etiquette right

12 Anyone for tennis?

Our guide to playing and watching

20 Technology in the classroom

Unique ways to help children find

their voices

29 On your marks!

the World Athletics Championship

comes to London


17 Education

Children and coding

18 Food & Drink

Street Food Walk - London’s

street food scene

14 Arts & Culture

A good read – exploring Hay, the

world’s biggest literary festival

22 Finance & Law

Living as a dependant in the UK

24 Careers

How to stay current during a

career break

27 Health & Wellbeing

Combatting hair loss

31 My Favourite Things

32 APPs

APPs to entertain

34 Events and Seminars

36 FOCUS Sponsors

Anyone for tennis page 12


FOCUS The Magazine 3

Beaches and Boardwalks

e Victorians loved to be beside the seaside, and it is largely

thanks to them that the cult of seaside holidays is as rich and varied

as it is on the British coast today. Associations that have come

down through the centuries include childish innocence (buckets,

spades and sandcastles), nature (crabbing in rock-pools, starfish

and seaweed), simple ‘old-fashioned’ fun (donkeys, roundabouts

or Punch and Judy shows), and greasy culinary delights (fish and

chips, ice cream and rock candy). Let’s examine where past and

present collide and how you can still find a touch of Victoriana

by the sea.


Queen Victoria ruled over Britain from 1837 until her death in

1901. She bestowed her name on several generations who we

refer to as ‘e Victorians’, and what a legacy they left!

Wealthy Victorians had for years taken houses by the sea to

benefit from the fresh air and relaxed tempo. e opportunities

however for leisure became a real possibility for all people with

the Bank Holiday Act of 1871 when workers were granted four

extra days off throughout the year. is coincided with the explosion

of the railway system, making transport around the country

much easier for the emergent middle classes. Seaside resorts like

Blackpool, Broadstairs, Margate and Southend-on-Sea flourished

with the new influx of holidaymakers.

Entertainment by the sea

A typical seaside holiday featured walks along the shore, donkey

rides, bathing, band concerts, and Punch and Judy shows. In the

larger resorts, it was common to find ‘pleasure palaces’, which

combined music hall entertainment with zoos, opera houses, theatres,

aquaria, lagoons with Venetian gondolas and gondoliers,

pleasure gardens and exhibitions.

Punch and Judy, though perhaps not the most ethical of entertainments

(Punch spends a large portion of time beating Judy

with a bat) was extremely popular at the beach. is was in part

down to the mobile puppet booth, which made it easy to manoeuvre

(although later Victorian booths were elaborate affairs

that soon became simplified to the red and white striped canvas

booths in the 20th Century). Punch’s cry of “at’s the way to do

it!” became his tagline and hordes of excited children would

clamour to watch what would happen in this comical soap opera

of errors. Reflecting the dubious ethics of Punch and Judy and

possibly the changing taste in entertainment, this is something

that you see less and less at the seaside today, but it has become

engrained in the popular perception of the British seaside, and if

you’re lucky you may find a show to watch.

At a time when recorded music was still a novelty, brass bands

and 'e Bandstand' became a popular form of musical entertainment

on the seaside promenade. e bandstand (many of

which can still be found today) is traditionally round in shape

with a roof that both helped acoustics and provided shelter from

the changeable British weather.







You can find a modern version of this type of entertainment

You can find a modern version of this type of entertainment

today at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an amusement park that

today at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an amusement park that dates




from 1896.

Foodie delights

Fish and chips are seen as typical seaside fare because it’s a quick,

easy meal that can be eaten on the go (traditionally wrapped in

yesterday’s newspaper). e first fish and chip shop was opened

in East London by a Jewish immigrant called Joseph Malin, and

outlets sprang up like wildfire after that. It was an obvious choice

for the seaside because of the abundance of local fish, and has remained

popular ever since.

Ice cream sold by a vendor was known as ‘hokey pokey’. e

4 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


The Victorian Seaside

vendors, many of whom were Italian in origin, supposedly used a

sales pitch or song involving the phrase “hokey pokey” for which

several origins have been suggested, although nothing can be

confirmed. An example of a Victorian vendor that you can still

find going strong today is Kelly’s of Cornwall, which was established

as an ice cream and fish and chips business by Joseph

Staffieri in the late 19th century after he had migrated from Italy

to St Austell in Cornwall. In the early 20th Century the business

used a horse and cart to distribute the ice cream around the

coast, and today it has grown to incorporate shops as well as mobile

vans. I guarantee that you won’t go far in Cornwall without

being able to resist buying one.

Another seaside treat with its origin in the 19th century is seaside

rock. Its origins lie in raw sugar that children were given to

suck. Reflecting the increase in trade, the price dropped in the

Victorian era and it became easier to get hold of. e inventor of

candy rock is reputed to be a man who went by the name of

Dynamite Dick, who came up with the idea while on holiday in

Blackpool, and started manufacturing brightly coloured lettered

rock in 1887. A sugar rock craftsman is called a Sugar Boiler, and

the skill can take up to 10 years to master. Rock is often up to six

feet (183cm) long before it is cut.

Did you know?

Did you know?

e slang term for a fish and chip shop is a ‘chippy’ or ‘chipper’.

e slang term for a fish & chip shop is a ‘chippy’ or ‘chipper’.

Places of interest

Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton Palace Pier has had a chequered history. It was opened

to the public in 1899, was one of the last seaside piers of the

Victorian age in England, and cost £137,000 to construct. It

survived fire, storms and World War II bombing, and still stands

today despite numerous name changes. It sports the same

Victorian ironwork, and remains the location of the biggest

funfair on the south coast (including the helter-skelter

fairground ride).

Did you you know?

e e term ‘helter-skelter’ was was first first recorded in in October 1905, taking

taking its name its name from from the much the much older older adverb adverb meaning meaning “in confused, “in confused,

disorderly haste”. disorderly haste”.

Broadstairs, Kent

If you head to Broadstairs in Kent in the third week of June you

may be lucky enough to encounter Queen Victoria herself promenading

the boardwalk! To celebrate the great English writer

Charles Dickens, who visited Broadstairs in Kent regularly from

1837 until 1859 and immortalised the town as “Our English

Watering Place,” the town has held an annual Dickens Festival in

June since 1937. Members of the public put on their best corsets

and parade the streets dressed as Victorians, while the town also

hosts a local production of a Dickens play. e people of

Broadstairs are clearly very proud of this connection. You’ll find a


FOCUS The Magazine 5

Lyme Regis, Cobb

pub, school and tearooms all named after Dickens. Atop the

great hill overlooking the fabulously named Viking Bay stands

Bleak House (recognise the name?), which is where Dickens

stayed with his family, and where he wrote the classic ‘David

Copperfield’. Good news for English literature fans: the house is

still open as guest accommodation and you can even visit the

study he used for his writing!

Viking Bay remains a diverting holiday destination, with children’s

rides, beach huts, Kent Surf School, a harbour and clifftop

promenade. e pier, which Dickens referred to as “without

the slightest pretensions to architecture, and very picturesque in

consequence”, still stands today and adds old world charm to a

seaside town that remains proud of its history.

Did you know?

Did you know?

e Scottish novelist John Buchan began writing ‘e 39 Steps’

while e staying Scottish in novelist Broadstairs. John Buchan He was bedridden began writing with ‘e a duodenal 39

ulcer Steps’ and while needed staying to take in Broadstairs. his mind off He the was pain. bedridden e steps with leading a

from duodenal villa to ulcer beach, and which needed give to the take book his mind its title off and the denouement,

e steps are supposedly leading from based villa on to 78 beach, steps which at North give Foreland. the book‘e

39 its Steps’ title and has been denouement, adapted for are film supposedly many times based (including on 78 steps by


Alfred at North Hitchcock) Foreland. and ‘e is also 39 Steps’ a long-running has been adapted stage play for infilm


many times




by Alfred Hitchcock) and is also a

long-running stage play in London’s West End.

Blue Lias Cliffs and Lyme Regis, Dorset

If you have an interest in Jurassic fossils, girl power, or possibly

both, then look no further than the coast of Dorset, where in the

early 19th Century a young woman called Mary Anning (1799-

1847) made significant leaps in the name of palaeontology.

Anning is credited with challenging scientific preconceptions

about evolution, despite being born a working-class woman at a

time when wealthy gentlemen dominated science. She lived at a

time when not much was known about dinosaurs and people believed

in the biblical interpretation of the story of creation and

of the flood. e spectacular marine reptiles that Mary unearthed

shook the scientific community into looking at different

explanations for changes in the natural world.

England’s beaches are still bursting with fossils today, more

than 160 years after the death of Mary Anning. e rocks in this

area date predominantly from the Early Jurassic era, approximately

199-189 million years ago.

Fossil hunting remains a popular pastime for families. e best

place to look for fossils is among the pebbles and rock pools on

the foreshore. Loose fossils including ammonites, belemnites and

reptile bones can all be found quite easily. Guided fossil walks

are also led in the area if you want a helping hand.

If you're interested in finding out more about Mary Anning, a

number of her discoveries can be seen at e Natural History

Museum in London.

6 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


Bleak House, Broadstairs

Osborne House, Isle of Wight


e e tongue tongue twister twister “She “She sells sells sea-shells on on the the sea-shore” is reputed

reputed to be to inspired have been by Mary inspired Anning. by Mary



Margate Shell Grotto

Although not strictly Victorian, an oddity discovered at the

dawn of Victoria’s reign is the Margate shell grotto, which became

a popular destination for people visiting the seaside resort

of Margate. First discovered by a father and son attempting to

dig a duck pond, the grotto includes 70 feet of winding underground

passages and 4.6 million shells. ese include cockles,

whelks, mussels and oyster shells forming various patterns of

mosaics, with images of the Tree of Life, gods and goddesses,

the horns or a ram, a three-pointed star, as well as the sun and

the moon.

The Classic English

Seaside Town

The town of Seahouses in Northumberland was originally

built as a fishing community comprising small cottages or

‘seahouses’. With the coming of the railroad in the late 19th

century, two stations were built to accommodate the

booming fishing trade and the station at the end of the line

by the sea became officially known as Seahouses.

In 1838, the Grotto opened as a public attraction, and so it remains

to this day. What was the purpose of this mysterious subterranean

passageway? e question remains open but

suggestions have included an 18th or 19th century rich man’s

folly, a prehistoric astronomical calendar or even connections

with the Knights Templar or Freemasonry. Or was it just a

Victorian hoax? Carbon dating would prove expensive and has

yet to be carried out, however there is an argument for leaving

the mystery and letting visitors create their own stories for this

amazing place.

e shell grotto is open every day from March to October, and

only at weekends in the winter.

Osborne House, The Isle of Wight

Even the real Queen Victoria was not immune to the pleasures

of this newfound holiday pastime. Writing in her diary in 1846

she remarked: “We drove down to the seashore and remained

there for an hour playing with the children who were so happy.”

Of course, it was not just any seashore just as Queen Victoria

was no ordinary woman! Osborne House was Victoria’s country

retreat on the Isle of Wight and had a private beach where the

royal family could enjoy themselves away from the public gaze.

is private beach, once so exclusive, was finally opened to the

public in 2012. One of the many delights the public are now

privy to includes Queen Victoria’s bathing machine. A bathing

machine might seem a strange contraption to the post-1960s liberated

bikini wearing folk of the 21st century, but back then it

was the perfect solution to the impropriety of wearing bathing

suits. e whole contraption was run into the sea so that

The town’s fishing history means that you can easily find

some of the best fish and chips at the seaside. One

particular favourite is Neptune’s, serving traditional fish and

chips and ice cream in the town centre.

The town is centred on the harbour where boats take

visitors to the Farne Islands, home to one of Europe’s most

important bird sanctuaries as well as a massive seal colony. If

you time your trip right you could catch the sight of baby

seals being born.

Brighton Palace Pier

Slate Hall riding centre offers lessons, treks and horseback

beach rides along Bamburgh and Seahouses beaches with

views of the Farne Islands.


FOCUS The Magazine 7

Lyme Regis, Cobb

Seaside Specifics

The British coastline is more than 7,000 miles long.

There are more than 200 beaches in the UK.

There are approximately 900 donkeys working on British


Weston-super-Mare has had donkey rides run by the same

family since 1886.

Dark donkeys are better for beach work because they are

naturally protected from sunburn.

The Coronation Rock holds the record for the biggest

stick of rock. It weighed in at 424.5kg in 2000.

King George V ordered 1,500 tons of sand to be taken

from Essex and dumped onto a mud flat near the Tower of

London to create Tower Beach. It could hold up to 500

people and was usable for five hours at low tide. It was

closed in 1971.

There is technically no such thing as a seagull.

There are 25 species of the gull family and the ones most

familiar in the UK are herring gulls.

A study by the British Psychological Society in 2012

concluded that being by the seaside contributed the most

to levels of wellbeing.

Catherine Sykes works in the arts and is a lover of all things

historic. You can reach her at catherinenicolesykes@gmail.com

Victoria could enter in one side fully clothed and exit directly

into the sea in her bathing suit without being seen. Inside is a

changing room and a plumbed in toilet. When she had finished

her dip, it was pulled back to the beach using a wire rope and

winch. Non-royals also had access to bathing machines, which

could be drawn by horses. Sometimes, the bathing machines

would have what was known as a ‘dipper.’ A dipper was a person

who waited at the shore to push people out of the bathing machine

and into the sea, and then drag them back out when they

were done.

What did Queen Victoria think of this contraption? We have

a quote from her diary that describes her feelings towards it:

“Drove to the beach with my maids and went in the bathing

machine, where I undressed and bathed in the sea (for the first

time in my life)… I thought it delightful till I put my head

under water, when I thought I should be stifled.”

e Isle of Wight makes for an excellent seaside retreat to take

the family to and is the largest and second most populated island

in England. Osborne House is located in East Cowes. For

any sailing enthusiasts, Cowes hosts an annual sailing week dating

from 1826, which includes 40 daily races, up to 1,000

boats, and 8,000 competitors ranging from Olympic and world

class professionals to weekend sailors.

You can reach the island via hovercraft to Southsea, or there

are ferry and catamaran services to Southampton, Lymington

and Portsmouth. It’s an adventure in itself just getting there!

Top Tip

Top Tip

Make sure to visit the town of Ryde, which has the world oldest

seaside Make pleasure to visit pier. the e town pier of was Ryde, officially which opened has the on world 26 July

1814 oldest and seaside measures pleasure 745 pier. yards e long pier (681 was metres). officially e opened pier’s on

200th 26 July anniversary 1814 and was measures celebrated 745 yards in 2014. long (681 metres).

e pier’s 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2014.

8 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


British Etiquette

e UK is an amazing country. I love it so much so that I married

a Scotsman and settled down in a small city outside London. Now

it feels like home, but it was daunting at first. Many expats will

agree that moving to a new country can be very intimidating. I am

from Los Angeles and though I speak the same language, there are

many cultural subtleties that I did not understand at first. I experienced

a steep learning curve that resulted in some hilarious encounters,

but also some consequences.

Every culture has rules of social engagement. e British however

place even more importance than most on etiquette. Knowing the

protocol here can mean the difference between acing or failing an

interview, making lifelong friends or meeting special someone. “It

is just good manners” is a popular phrase here, which is often uttered

in derision about a person that has broken etiquette.

As an expat who is now here to stay, I have compiled some advice

to make the most of living here and to help you not make the same

mistakes that I did! I would also recommend reading a copy of

Debrett’s Handbook for more in-depth information. is book explains

protocol, although some of the information is inapplicable

to most (how to act when one meets the Queen for example), it

nicely explains the finer points of British social etiquette.

What to wear

British fashion is, and always has been, conservatively chic.

Classic cuts reign supreme, particularly in the workplace. Even

in casual get-togethers, a polished look is important. In London,

I showed up to work on ‘casual’ Friday in a t-shirt and torn

jeans. My mentor looked at me and said: “It is always better to

be mistaken for the queen than the pauper.” I cringed and made

sure my casual Los Angeles clothes were relegated to the weekend.

Always be well-groomed even if you are the most dressed

up in the room.

Greetings and conversation

Over-familiarity is very frowned upon here in both conversation

and physicality. A firm handshake when meeting someone is the

ideal greeting. Kisses or hugs are reserved only for close friends.

A typical hello is “How are you?” in which you reply, “Fine, and

yourself?” Anything more said on your part will be very awkward.

I used to explain my entire weekend before I realised

that the person had no interest and was looking vaguely uncomfortable.


FOCUS The Magazine 9


Short-sleeved polo shirts are ideal casual wear,

although a tailored t-shirt with a smart jacket does

the trick too.

Jeans or trousers should always fit neatly, avoid

the very skinny ‘painted-on’ trend or the extra

baggy look.

Colourful socks or pocket squares are a fun way

to jazz up a suit or monochromatic outfit.

Shoes should always be in great repair, polished

and/or cleaned.

Typical early conversation topics include weather, recent television

and sporting occasions, or the event you are attending. Steer

clear of personal topics such as career, salary or marital status. It

usually takes three to five times of meeting the same people before

you can move on to more serious or personal topics.

e words ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ will be those you use

most here. is courteousness extends to people of all ages and

stations. Omitting please or thank you for any services rendered

is very uncouth. Sorry is said in many situations, such as before

you ask for something, when you are taking too long at the till,

even when someone bumps into you and it is not your fault.

Interestingly, the word is not an apology for what you are

doing, but more for the imposition on the other person’s time

and/or space.

Events and gifts

Events here are always anticipated occasions and planned far in

advance. Dinner parties or dining out are popular ways to spend

time with friends and dining etiquette is crucial if you want to be

invited again. Always make sure you have a small gift for the host

or planner. Expensive or showy gifts can be a source of embarrassment

so keep it small but thoughtful.

If it is a celebratory event like a birthday or anniversary, the

most important thing to remember is the card. Well-picked and

handwritten cards are at times more important than the gift itself.

ank you cards are essential in the UK, with etiquette dictating

that a card should be sent within the week of receiving a

gift or service. e holiday season is renowned for the card tradition

and it is an important time to show your caring for others.

My in-laws sent and received more than 100 Christmas cards,

and took people off their list when they didn’t receive one in



Very tight clothing, visible cleavage or a lot of leg

is a no-no.

Dresses should always be tailored. To the knee or

below are de rigeur.

Stylish flats or mid-rise court shoes are the best

options for shoes.

For weddings, cocktail dresses are a safe choice.

Make sure to wear a head dress such as a hat or


10 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


e most important advice I can give is to take risks and put

yourself out there. It can be uncomfortable starting over in a new

and foreign place but if you invest in learning about the culture

and making friends from the UK, you will find the warm undercurrent

that is British friendships. I find that once the reserved

and pleasantries stage is past, friends here are made for life. Don’t

stick to what you are comfortable with. You may make one mistake

or 50, but you will be richer for the experience and will really

see what an amazing place it is.

A special thank you goes to the local and expat ladies of St Albans

Mum’s Facebook group for helping me discuss these points in detail.

Tara Clarkson studied and worked for four years in London and

has recently returned after spending some time in Singapore.

She is from California, married to a Scotsman and is now

enjoying motherhood with an active toddler who has adopted

a Scottish accent.

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FOCUS The Magazine 11

Tennis Fever

It happens every year. The days get longer. Supermarkets start stocking strawberries and cream. Pimms-filled glasses and

Wimbledon posters are the final symptoms of British tennis fever! Fear not, in case you’ve caught the tennis bug, too; here are

some ideas for finding tennis courts, players of your standard to play with, places to get some kit, and ways to get closer to

that centre court ticket.

Find players

Pay and Play Public Clubs

Most public tennis clubs offer group lessons,

with a combination of women’s only, men’s

only, and mixed drills sessions at various levels.

Cardio tennis with its fast-paced tennis drills

and music is also a popular option.

Women’s Clubs

Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club and

the St. John’s Wood Women’s Club are

examples of social women’s clubs, which run

two hours of coach-assisted social doubles a

couple of times a week.

Private Club Coaches

Private lessons cost a coaching fee and

sometimes a court fee too. You can save on

costs by buddying up. Ask your coach to

suggest a partner of a similar standard.

Find fans

The official Wimbledon website will explain what you need to do to

enter the Wimbledon Public Ballot (1 per household), introduced in

1924. Held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, this year,

Wimbledon runs from 3-16 July.

Another way to get tickets is to enter your club’s ballot and opt in

on the LTA website. Note that public and club ballots do not

guarantee tickets. Deadlines for ballots are in December and

February before the grand slam.

If you have unfortunately missed both deadlines you can still go to

Wimbledon by having that truly British experience of queuing for

tickets. Queuing begins the Sunday before the start of the grand

slam where some 500 tickets for the four stadium courts and a

few thousand more for ground admissions go on sale every day

until the quarter-finals. Queuing is on Wimbledon Park on the

Church Road side. Closest tube station: Southfields. Camping out

from the night before is a sporting event in itself, but you can also

queue on the day.

Local Tennis Leagues and Box

League Services

In the Play section on the LTA website

www.lta.org.uk/play you can book into play in

local tennis leagues, training sessions, and

social Tuesdays with players of your standard.

Local Tennis Leagues

www.localtennisleagues.com and Tennis Jeanie

www.tennisjeannie.com are two other box

league services that provide opportunities for


12 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


For racquets

The easiest place to demo racquets for Londoners is Wigmore

Sports. The closest tube station is Bond Street. Wigmore has

a wall to hit against or you can demo the racquet for a week

plus. Purchase your racquets there and you get a discount on

a strung racquet.

Online options such as Millet Sports also offer demos and tend

to be cheaper. Clubs usually offer a limited range of tennis

wear, shoes and other kit as well as stringing services. Gefen

Sports has certified stringers and specialises in stringing


Find courts

Public Courts

To understand the true meaning of all-weather

courts, it’s imperative you try a game outside in

Britain. Outdoor options are available in nearly any

park. Look them up on your local council park’s

website or on the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA)

website www.lta.org.uk under Find a court. For some

popular park courts in central London try:

Regents Park www.willtowin.co.uk/regents-park

Hyde Park www.willtowin.co.uk/hyde-park

Battersea Park batterseapark.org/info/what-todo/sports/tennis/

Indoor pay and play courts in London are precious.

Here are some where you can make advance


Westway Sports & Fitness Centre


Islington Tennis Centre


Dukes Meadows www.dukesmeadows.com/tennis/

Private Clubs

Wimby secrets

Grounds admissions are £25 and less; Centre Court and

Courts 1, 2, and 3 range from £41 to £190. A well-kept

Wimbledon secret is that once inside the grounds, you can

buy great resale seats from tired spectators from 15.30

onwards. Juniors with a BTM can even purchase them for a

fiver! If you aren’t able to get tickets to Wimbledon this year

you can still watch other professional tennis events in Britain.

Take a look at the Major Events section on the LTA website,

where you can try for seats at the Aegon Championships at

the Queen’s Club 19-25 June where you can see many of the

greats warm up for Wimbledon in a more intimate setting!

Private tennis clubs in London require an annual fee

and sometimes a joining fee or a debenture. They

are high-end pricewise and range in waiting times.

Three popular tennis clubs in central London with

indoor courts are:

Ealing Lawn Tennis Club www.ealingtennis.com

Campden Hill Lawn Tennis Club www.chltc.co.uk

The Queen’s Club www.queensclub.co.uk

Health Clubs with Indoor Tennis

These offer a pricey but an interesting alternative

with shorter waiting periods. A few health clubs with

gym facilities in London are:

The Chiswick Riverside Health & Racquets Club


Harbour Club Chelsea & Notting Hill


David Lloyd Club Raynes Park


The Park Club www.theparkclub.co.uk/tennis

Haru Yamada, is a long-term expat and tennis enthusiast with

two kids playing NCAA Division I sports in US colleges. Haru loves

the idea of continuing to play a favourite sport into higher

education and beyond! She can be reached at



FOCUS The Magazine 13


Books Bring People Together

Hay on Wye Literary Festival 25 May – 4 June 2017

For nine days in May and June thousands of people will join some of the most influential writers and thinkers across

the arts, politics and science in a tiny town in Wales. The Hay on Wye Literary Festival, or “the Woodstock of the

mind” as former US President Bill Clinton famously dubbed it, started 30 years ago as an annual celebration of culture

and ideas in the picture-perfect town of Hay on Wye on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Legend has it that the

festival was started around the kitchen table of founder Peter Florence in 1987 and is now a global event with satellite

festivals taking place in locations as far-flung as Cartagena and Segovia. It is fair to say that the events at Hay dominate

culture headlines in May and June every year because there are always provocative and challenging ideas

emerging from the talks. Past speakers include novelist Margaret Atwood, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, film director

Sam Mendes, actress Judi Dench, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and Nobel Laureate Mohammed El-Baradei.

14 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



Casper Lee and Emily Riordan Lee, Hay 2016

The Festival

Morning sessions start around 10am and the

first talks of the day are usually popular ones.

The main tent serves as a meeting point and

is a real hive of activity with everyone getting

coffee and picking up tickets from the main

box office. Entry to the main festival site is

free as are some events, but many are

ticketed. Advance booking for most events is

important but some tickets, if available, can

be bought right up to the moment the talk

starts. Prices are reasonable and there is

always a good mix of locals and those from

further afield. Students can attend all events

for free, but must book in advance. Talks

range from 40 minutes to about an hour,

often with Q&A sessions, after which people

usually head to the main bookshop tent for

that author’s book signing. Every hour the

talks rotate with people dashing between

tents to get to the next event; don’t be

surprised if at the end of the day you have

made new acquaintances. The only queues

are when waiting to get into an event tent

and even those move fast. The children’s

festival, Hay Fever, with a full programme of

authors and activities, runs on site at the

same time.

One of the festival’s big draws is the

second-hand book tent run by Oxfam. The

shelves are constantly replenished and the

sight of people leaving with armloads of

books is a familiar one. Around the festival

site are deck chairs where between talks

people eagerly dive into their new books and

you will find plenty of refreshments including

bars and pop up restaurants. Some of the

talks finish quite late and musical events tend

to be in the evening, but by about 10pm the

festival is usually wound down and guests

have headed out. The site never feels

swamped or overcrowded, despite thousands

of people descending on the festival every


The town

Hay on Wye is situated on the Welsh-English

border with the River Wye running through it.

Unsurprisingly, it is full of second hand books

stores as well as pubs and restaurants

offering everything from traditional pub

lunches to Spanish tapas. Outdoor clothing

stores are plentiful too because Hay is located

within the Black Mountains and hikers,

mountain bikers, canoers and kayakers

abound. The town has a very warm welcoming

atmosphere during the festival when the world

comes to its doorstep.

Getting there

It is easy to visit the festival by car if you are

not staying in the town of Hay. Poor public

transport links combined with very affordable

parking rates make going by car a better

Hay dominates the headlines

every year because there are

always provocative and

challenging ideas emerging

from the talks.


FOCUS The Magazine 15

option. The journey from London on the M4 towards

Abergavenny takes approximately 3.5 hours. At the festival

there is plenty of public car parking priced at approximately

£5 a day. There are no direct trains to Hay on Wye. Instead

visitors travel to Hereford. Hay on Wye is a 20-minute taxi

ride away. Trains from London take about 4 hours. Local

shuttle buses operate from the centre of Hay on Wye to

the festival site. Be prepared for mud if it rains because all

parking and the festival itself is in a field. The weather,

while warm, is changeable so pack accordingly

remembering that you’ll be spending the day in a field. The

flexibility of the schedule of speakers, the ease of parking

and leaving, and the fact that there is no entry fee allows

people to come and go throughout the day.

Places to stay

There is a great variety of places to stay during the festival

from stately homes to humble but hip B&Bs, and

campsites with yurts for the more adventurous. Booking

early is essential and be prepared to not stay in Hay itself.

Brecon, a lively market town, is 16 miles away from Hay on

Wye and takes approximately 20 minutes by car to reach.

Here festival-goers can find a variety accommodation to

suit all tastes and budgets.

Llangoed Hall, an Edwardian former stately home, is

located on the outskirts of Brecon, approximately a 15-

minute drive from the centre of Hay. The house is owned

by Sir Bernard Ashley and is decorated with furnishings

from his designer wife Laura Ashley in traditional English

style. In May, the house is full of festivalgoers and can

accommodate late bookers because of its size. Hugh

Bonneville, better known as Downtown Abbey’s Earl of

Grantham, was spotted staying there when speaking at Hay

in 2014.

On the other end of the price scale there is the Wellington

Hotel in the centre of Brecon. The Wellington is a small

hotel with its own pub dating back to the early 1800s. It has

reasonably priced, no frills en-suite rooms, a pay-anddisplay

public car park attached and provides a good base

for festival goers.

Westbrook Court B&B is a bit of a hidden gem and ideal

for festival goers looking for a balance between a well-run

B&B and a hip, individual space. The B&B is run by a

couple from London who have brought a little slice of

metropolitan minimalism to a cosy country retreat with

stunning views over the rolling hills. Festival goers share

stories and compare itineraries over the friendly, communal

breakfast table. The rooms are individual units with galleried

bedrooms and front doors opening out onto a communal

courtyard. For further information go to:


Gary Griffiths is a bibliophile and regular visitor

to the Hay Festival

Westbrook Court

16 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



Learning innovation through technology

London offers some amazing schools and

as a result, we have kids getting great scores

in their GCSEs, A levels, IBs, SATs and

more. ey are usually ready, at the end of

their secondary school, to move on to university

here in the UK or wherever they

may want to pursue higher education but

are they ready for the world that they are

going to inhabit?

We typically teach our children to pass

tests, prepare for university, and get good

scores, but that’s not enough for them to

be successful in a rapidly changing world.

We know from our own work (and home)

lives what kinds of skills are really important

– adaptability, resilience, problem

solving, and communication. Adaptability

because things are changing rapidly and no

sooner do you get a grip on things than

they change; resilience because we can

choose to see ‘failures’ as opportunities to

iterate and improve; problem solving because

putting together solutions is where

we create value; and communication because

no matter how bright you are or how

good your solution is, it won’t be valuable

if you can’t communicate it well to others!

Beyond these ‘soft’ skills, our young people

will need to use information and technology.

Coding and making or inventing gadgets,

are great ways for students to get all of

these skills. Learning basic programming

helps young people break down problems

and solve them systematically – it’s a skill

that serves them offline as well as online.

Tinkering and creating digital and physical

projects lets them design, iterate, and

problem solve. Children take creative and

intellectual risks, and they can be proud of

the original products that they create. ey

can also hone their communication skills

inside their games and apps, or through

pitches showing off their wares.

Programming is now on the national

curriculum so all children in British education

are getting some exposure. Some international

schools have strong tech

programmes, with Python programming

courses, a Maker space, a Robotics league,

and more. ere are also a number of

groups that offer camps and courses during

school holidays and at weekends with a

focus on creativity and the development of

a supportive and engaging community.

ere’s never been a better time to learn

programming, create gadgets, or build

your own website. It’s a golden age of tech

and learning, with lots of accessible tools

and platforms. Plus, with another article in

the paper each day on the automation of

the economy, there’s never been a more

critical time to learn these skills.

Your children can build up their soft

skills and be prepared for a world where

change is the only certainty. Added to this,

becoming confident digital creators will

allow them to make their own opportunities

in the future. Code on!

Learning basic

programming helps young

people break down

problems and solve them


Jill Hodges is the Founder of Fire Tech

Camp, which runs camps, clubs and

workshops for 9-17 year olds in coding,

making and digital arts. For more

information, please contact Jill

on info@firetechcamp.com or see the

website: www.firetechcamp.com


FOCUS The Magazine 17


A history of street food

Emma Parker

I would like to take you on a tour of

London’s food through the ages. We will

start at the oldest market in London,

Borough and end at one of the newest,

Maltby Street. We often think of street

food as a modern phenomenon created

at music festivals where hipsters buy buffalo

burgers and posh sausages. We can

however trace its history back to the

Romans and their street sellers, also

known as costermongers.

It is at London’s markets that you can

enjoy one of the oldest street foods –

oysters. Oysters occur naturally in the estuaries

around England, but it was the

Romans who created the oyster beds and

introduced us to this delicacy. Some of the

best oysters in the UK come from a small

island off the coast of Essex called Mersea.

The Romans had their capital at

Colchester at this time and so set up the

oyster beds nearby. I consider this to be

Borough Market is the mother of all

food markets. Oysterman Richard

Haward brings the delights of the

Essex coast to London where he

sells oysters from Mersea Island.

If you can’t carry them home, they

can also be delivered to you.

an almost perfect street food – it comes

in its own natural container; you open it

with a sharp stone or knife and then it has

its own half shell as a little dish in which to

serve it!

Street sellers were vital in supplying food

to Londoners. They became particularly

important as the population of London

grew exponentially in the 19th century. It

is estimated that there were 30,000-

40,000 street sellers including muffin men,

pie men, shrimp girls, and oyster sellers

feeding London at this time.

If you happen to stand on the corner of

Stoney Street and Park Street, look up at

Borough Market building.The silver building

in front of you has some interesting

pineapples on its roof. This building used

to be part of the old Floral Hall, which

was in the old fruit and vegetable market

in Covent Garden. When the Covent

Garden Opera House was refurbished in

the 1990s, they moved part of the hall to

Borough Market. When pineapples were

first introduced into England in the 17th

century, they were considered the caviar

of their day and they became a status


As you wander through Borough Market

and onto London Bridge, you can appreciate

that this was one of London’s main

thoroughfares. In fact, for nearly 17 centuries

it was the only way over the river

18 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



“ Costermongers were a lifeline to London and provided Londoners

with much of their food over the years.”

The George Inn is a great place to

stop for a well-earned drink.


and into the City of London. Imagine this

area filled with people trying to get across

the bridge, fighting their way through the

crowds of other travellers and costermongers

selling their wares. London Bridge

was locked at night, which meant people

often needed accommodation. This area

became filled with inns and pubs serving

those who dared not go back out of

London because of the risk of thieves and

robbers that lay along the dark sections of


Walk south down Borough High Street

and you will notice that there are many little

yards truncating the main road. These

yards, including Kings Head Yard and

White Hart Yard, were once the site of

inns. In fact, the pubs and inns in this area

were very important in serving weary

travellers. The George Inn is London’s only

remaining galleried inn in an area that

would have been filled with places to stay,

rest and eat. The George Inn dates from

1677, but there has been an inn on the

same site since at least 1522. The original

building was big, taking 80 coaches per

week in its heyday. Shakespeare knew the

inn well and would have put on plays here

in the courtyard. The inn would have

formed a three-sided building with balconies

on each side creating an internal

yard. The yard was perfect for performing

plays especially on Feast Days, Christmas

and Easter. The rich would look down

from the balconies and the poor would

gather in the courtyard around the action.

The noise from the street sellers and the

drunken crowd would have meant that

the people in the balconies probably

missed much of the action.

Costermongers would have brought

around such delights as hot sheep’s feet,

hot codlings (apples wrapped in pastry),

pies, shrimps, whelks and hot eels.

The next stop is Maltby Street, which is

about 15-minute walk away from Borough

Market. Walking along St Thomas Street,

you will see the extent of the new

London Bridge station and also be amazed

at the height of The Shard. As you near

Bermondsey Street, you might notice

Vinegar Yard; this is a nod to the nearby

Sarsons’s vinegar factory, which would

Maltby Street Market is open

Saturdays and Sundays. See

www.maltby.st for details.

40 Maltby Street is a delightful and

relaxed eatery for those who prefer

to dine inside.


have spewed acrid fumes into the air. As

you walk around the corner into

Bermondsey Street, enjoy the variety of

wonderful places to eat and drink and

maybe stop a while at The Fashion &

Textile Museum. Again, keep an eye out

for the building and road names, which remind

us that this area was also filled with

tanneries and wool weavers.

As we cross Tower Bridge Road and walk

along Maltby Street Market, it is difficult to

believe that this market was only founded

in 2010. It offers plenty of places to sit and

have some food, a drink and the opportunity

to watch the local action. The food

available is eclectic among which are juicy

steak sandwiches, delicious falafel, and waffles

with streaky bacon and maple syrup.

The rise of modern street food is a phenomenon

that doesn’t look like ending

any time soon. Currently, London has the

largest number of markets of any city in

the world and has clearly remained in love

with quirky market stalls and street food


Emma Parker

Emma Parker creates and leads a series of tours of London including The Secret History of Street Food and East End Eats,

www.coutours.co.uk. Contact Emma on 0208 6345667 or Emma@coutours.co.uk.


FOCUS The Magazine 19

Technology helps children find their voice

Within a classroom there can be a

wide range of student dynamics and

personalities. Every one of these

students is unique, each with their own

approaches to learning. More often

than not, there will be students

perceived as quiet or shy; but does this

mean their voices should not be heard?

Technology can provide students with

opportunities to express their ideas in

various ways. From writing reflections

on a blog, to recording a stop motion

video to demonstrate a scientific

concept, technology opens up a world

of opportunities for supporting student

learning. Some students might prefer

the sequential nature of posting on a

blog, while other students might prefer

to express their ideas through a more

hands on, creative process like stop


Over recent years screencasting tools

have become a popular addition to the

classroom. A screencast tool such as

Screencastify or Explain Everything,

allows students to capture a recording

of their computer or tablet screen. As

the child records the screencast they

can also give a narration of their

actions. This type of tool might be used

to demonstrate a set of student

instructions or to reflect on elements

of their online work.

Students who lack confidence in

speaking in front of others can use

screencasting tools to rehearse, record

and playback their ideas. By allowing

extra time, teachers can encourage

students to reflect on their video and

re-record if necessary, reassuring that

mistakes are part of the process. This

removes the pressure of public

speaking and allows student voices to

be heard.

Sharing learning and taking action

With inquiry-based learning, a popular

approach to education, teaching is

based on students’ individual knowledge

and interests. Throughout the inquiry,

students are encouraged to ask

questions that help to guide the

learning. Kath Murdoch, author and

educational consultant explains that “as

students move through the process of

inquiry, they can draw on several ways

of investigating and expressing their

growing understandings”.

The multifaceted nature of technology

provides an excellent support for the

expression of these growing

understandings. Throughout the inquiry

process, students can use various

technologies to share their learning. As

Timothy Gard, a Toronto based

educator maintains: “technology is a

natural way to encourage student voice

in classroom and school communities.”

To provide greater opportunities for

sharing student voices through inquiry,

Dwight School London has recently

established its own school-based radio

station. Dwight Radio promotes the

development of speaking and listening

skills and gives students the opportunity

to share their learning with others. The

students are involved in all stages of the

process: from recording and using

professional radio equipment, to the

editing of radio programmes.

Although Dwight Radio is in its early

stages, it has already been used to

promote student action. Leading up to

a recent school community fair,

students in Year 6 created radio

advertisements to promote the

handmade goods being sold at their

class stall. Through teamwork and

enthusiasm, the students used the radio

to communicate their ideas effectively

to a wider audience. These student

advertisements were then shared

through the school newsletter to

parents and streamed through the


Another benefit of school radio has

20 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


“ Through teamwork and enthusiasm, the students used the radio to

communicate their ideas effectively to a wider audience.”

been the support it provides for

building student confidence in speaking

and listening. During a recording session

with Year 1 students, a young boy, who

was not willing to speak in front of a big

group, decided to come along and

watch the radio recording process. In

the beginning he watched and listened

from afar, then gradually, as he felt more

comfortable, he came closer and closer

to the microphones. By the end of the

session he had the headphones on, and

recorded an introduction for the group.

What a delight it was to see the child

grow in confidence as he operated the

equipment to share his thoughts!

Technology enabled this.

Learning a new language, a

new culture

Arriving in a new country, a new home

and a new school can be difficult

enough, but when this experience

includes learning a new language, stress

levels can be very high. Children often

feel frustrated in not being able to

communicate and need extra support

to settle in with their peers. This is

where technology can play an

important role.

Not only can devices be used as a

method of language translation, which

admittedly does prove very helpful to

students learning English as a second

language, but technology can also be

used as an avenue to build relationships

with peers.

An example of this occurred at the

beginning of the year when a class

welcomed a new student who spoke

very little English. Frustrations for this

student were soon quickly apparent

because he found communicating

difficult. In an effort to foster the

building of peer relationships, the

students were asked to pair up and

share their shortcut tips on a

Chromebook with each other. Rather

than having to rely on explaining his

ideas, the new student was able to

demonstrate his tips to his peers with

great enthusiasm. Technology had

provided a common language for these

two students and facilitated the

foundation of their ongoing friendship.

Supporting students’ needs

For children with special educational

needs or disabilities, technology can

help them to access the curriculum.

Students with learning disabilities often

achieve greater success when they are

encouraged to harness their strengths

rather than focus on their disabilities.

Often technology can assist with this


In particular, dictation and text-tospeech

tools are very useful for

students who need assistance to read

or write. Students can use a dictation

app to assist with recording ideas, and

text-to-speech tools come in very

handy when support is needed to read

a body of text. There are many apps on

the market that focus solely on each of

these two functions, but you’ll also find

that on closer inspection many

educational apps already include these


Essentially, technology is the Swiss Army

knife of education. With careful planning

and balanced use, the versatility of

technology can be such an asset to

today's classroom. Using it to deliver

personalised learning experiences,

teachers can now, more than ever,

ensure that every student finds their


Nicole Rehman is a Digital Literacy

Coach and Year 5 teacher at Dwight

School London. She is a Google for

Education Certified Trainer and can be


at nrehman@dwightlondon.org and


All images on this page courtesy of Nicole Rehman


FOCUS The Magazine 21


Living as a dependant in the UK

UK immigration law has its complexities, but the rules for dependants can be particularly challenging. Najma Ali explains the

visas that enable people to stay in the UK as dependants. By the term ‘dependant’ we typically mean the partners and children

of the main visa holder. These dependants have specific rules that relate to them and in this article we will deal with three of the

most common scenarios being PBS dependants, non-EEA family members of EEA nationals and the dependants of British


Points-based dependant

This visa is usually issued to dependants for the same period as

the main applicant, or for a period of three years if the main applicant

has Indefinite Leave to Remain or British nationality.

To apply for extensions, the dependant must prove they continue

to rely on the main applicant, who themselves continues

to meet the minimum maintenance requirement of £630 for

the three-month period before the extension application date.

Points-based dependants usually have the right to work, unless

they depend on a Tier 4 migrant who has less than 12-months

Fort Augustus

leave, or is educated below degree level.

If a person ceases to be a dependant, they can apply for a different

visa if they meet the necessary requirements.

Non-EEA family member

Currently, the principle of free movement within the European

Economic Area (EEA) allows non-EEA dependants to reside

with EEA family members for a period of six months, after

which they can apply for a five-year visa. Following this, the dependant

can apply for permanent residency if they meet the

necessary requirements, and can prove they have lived permanently

in the UK without travelling abroad for more than 180

days per year.

22 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



If the relationship ends during the five-year period, the dependant

can make a retained rights of residence application if:

n The main applicant is still a UK resident and has qualified status

at the time the relationship

Fort William


n The relationship lasted at least three years.

n The couple lived together in the UK for at least one year

before the relationship ended.

Dependant of a British national

Dependants of British nationals are usually granted a visa for 2.5

years, and extensions will only be granted if they:

n Remain in a current relationship.

n Have access to adequate accommodation.

n Meet a Level A2 CEFR English language requirement, which

is higher than the Level A1 requirement of an initial


Kytre Loch

n Are dependent on someone who meets the minimum income

requirement, currently £18,600.

Unfortunately, if the relationship ends then the dependant loses

their right to remain in the UK, but they have the right to apply

for a different visa if they meet the necessary requirements.

Najma Ali is an immigration lawyer, who can be contacted on

020 7183 5683 or at najma.ali@salaw.com

Are you looking for a different kind of education for your child? -

Dwight offers an international education in London!

Dwight Global Campuses and Programmes: London | New York | Seoul | Shanghai | Dubai

Dwight is an IB World School with students aged 2-18 from over 40 countries.

Dwight is truly a local school with a global reach preparing students for entry in to

leading universities in the UK and abroad.

For details of our International Baccalaureate Programmes

for students of all ages contact:

admissions@dwightlondon.org or 020 8920 0634

6 Friern Barnet Lane N11 3LX | www.dwightlondon.org

Scan here to read the Good Schools Guide review

Dwight School London has Tier 4 Sponsor Status.


FOCUS The Magazine 23


How to stay

current during

a career break

People take career breaks for a multitude of reasons – caring for elderly

parents, starting a business, relocating with a partner, and raising

a family. Whatever the reason and the duration of their career

break, most people will return to the workforce. In this article, we

will show how a little regular career maintenance can make your reentry

easier – and might just have some other unexpected benefits.

When you are on a career break, and life is busy, staying up-to-date

with your career can seem like the very last thing on your neverending

‘to do’ list. e good news however is that some minimal effort,

even if only in two or three quick bursts a year, will make a big

difference when you are ready to return to work.

Why can’t I do this just before I return to work?

e truth is that you could get back up-to-date just before you

begin to look for your next role. You could read up on your industry,

madly network with former colleagues, and overhaul your CV

all in a matter of days. ere are however a few downsides to doing

this as a rush job. First, it could make it clear to everyone that you

have been on a career break. Secondly, it is usually more time-consuming

to reconnect with people than it is to re-energise warm contacts

in your network. Finally, it could seem just a bit desperate

(“Let’s connect on LinkedIn and can you please endorse me now!”).

ere are surprising benefits of staying up-to-date, and they are not

just for your career!

When a career break has coincided with a major life event such as

having children or moving abroad, we can very quickly forget who

we were when working. is forgetting of the ‘work’ self can happen

very quickly, sometimes over mere months.

For many people I coach, remembering their ‘work’ self can help to

boost their confidence. Seeing ourselves through the eyes of our

favourite manager who has just endorsed us on LinkedIn, or a former

colleague who compliments our technical skills, can remind us

how great our ‘work’ self is. Being able to contribute to discussions

on a business-related topic in a social setting can bring us the respect

of our partners, friends and even our children.

For many people, then comes the realisation that they can go

back to work: this career break is voluntary. ey will be ready

and confident, to return to work when the time is right. It can

also, of course, lead to interesting roles that fit within a career

break such as voluntary and trustee positions.

But I want to change careers, isn’t this a

waste of time?

Not everyone wishes to, or can return to their previous career.

Many people take the opportunity presented by a career break

to review their options and move into a new career or take up a

voluntary position.

So, is this investment in a career you are leaving not simply a

waste of time? e short answer, supported by comprehensive

research, is ‘No’.

Here are three reasons why it pays to stay current, regardless of

your intended next role:

1. Your next job is statistically most likely to be found through

your extended network (including the networks of your

network). e research suggests that 80-90% of all jobs are

not advertised. If your preferred next role is in another industry

or location, your network has an even more important

role to play in helping you identify opportunities.

2. Both employers and professional recruiters look at the social

media accounts (including LinkedIn) of candidates.

Although you might feel that this is not appropriate, they

are usually trying to understand the context of your career.

Are you in touch in positive ways with people that you previously

worked with? Are people endorsing you for the

types of skills you should have given your career history?

3. You are likely to need recommendations from your network

to secure an offer for any future role.

24 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



“ Don’t aim for perfection: it is better to do

a little than nothing at all.”

How to Stay Up-to-Date

ese ideas can be completed online, from anywhere in the

world. As a bare minimum, try to do four of these things, every

six months. Given that many of these activities take less than

ten minutes to complete, you could be finished in less than an

hour each time.

You will, of course, reap more rewards if you invest more time

and effort, but don’t aim for perfection: it is much better to do

a little occasionally than nothing at all.


Profile mini review: Check your location and profile picture.

Your LinkedIn profile will be one of the first things people see

when they search for you by name so make sure it is up to date.

n Grow your network: Accept any outstanding LinkedIn invitations,

and send five to ten invitations to new contacts.

Remember to also connect on LinkedIn with people you are

meeting in social contexts.

n Congratulate people on their successes: LinkedIn notifies us

when former colleagues, former bosses and friends have

started a new job, published an article or shared other good

news. It takes seconds to send a congratulations message

and yet very few people do so. Make this small effort and

your contact may well pause to refresh you in their mind as

a current contact.

n Endorse your contacts: is has two benefits: first, the person

you endorse will think positively of you and, secondly,

they are much more likely to endorse you in return.

LinkedIn is rumoured to begin offering endorsed skills information

to recruiters so this is important.

Set up Google Alerts: e free Google Alerts system will

email to you any online articles that contain specific keywords.

It is a convenient way to see published information about an

organisation, industry, place or person.

Join online groups: Both Facebook and LinkedIn have industry

and alumni groups, which can help you to stay on top of

trends and changing terminology.

Read professional magazines and newsletters: ese

don’t often make for exciting reading but a quick skim read can

sometimes highlight a mention of a former colleague for you to

follow up. File any particularly interesting articles so you can

re-read them before you begin interviewing.

Christmas or holiday cards: An emailed card – usually with

a donation to charity mentioned – is perfectly acceptable and

takes almost no time to organise, but will ensure you are in

touch at least annually with your contacts.

“ Staying in touch with your ‘work’ self

can deliver benefits – even before your

next job search begins.”

Kath Sloggett, Founder of

Runneth London


is a career change

coach and start-up

business adviser. She

regularly coaches

people returning to

work after a career

break, and runs career

and business


across London.

Make Every Contact Count

Now that you are thinking more about your pre-break career,

as a final step try to bring your career into everyday

conversations. Start some sentences with “when I was

working in…”. Cite anecdotes from your experiences with

your team or a client. You can also introduce yourself to

people (or ask your partner to do so) including some reference

to your career. is will open up a whole new range

of conversations with people, even people you know quite

well, who may have no idea about your career background,

experiences or ambitions.


FOCUS The Magazine 25

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26 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



Can the ‘vampire face lift’

save you from balding?

Common baldness, medically known as

androgenetic alopecia, is a prospect that

many dread. It is however the

commonest form of hair loss seen in

clinic and affects men (male pattern

balding) and women (female pattern

hair loss) alike. It is most associated with

the ageing process, but it can also

appear at a much earlier age. Hair loss

at any age is distressing and with

increasing public awareness of

treatments for hair loss, it is unsurprising

to see a rise in the number of

consultations from people of all ages

seeking treatment to prevent

progression and reverse the signs

of baldness.

In common balding, hair follicles inherit

a sensitivity to male hormone

(androgens) in the body causing

progressive shortening of the growth

phase – a process known as

miniaturisation. These miniaturised hairs

are shorter and finer meaning they

cover the scalp less effectively, resulting

in thinning and visible scalp through the

hair. Men typically have a receding hair

line and/or the thinning on the crown,

while women tend to have a different

pattern with thinning on the crown only

and a normal hair line. Contrary to

common belief, it is not just passed on

from your maternal grandfather. The

truth is, androgenetic alopecia

(especially when it starts early)

anywhere in your family poses a risk.

Commonly used treatments for

baldness include topical Minoxidil,

historically a blood pressure tablet that

caused patients to become hairy as a

side effect (!) and Propecia, a tablet

licensed for men, which blocks the effect

of androgens on the hair follicles. Some

forms of the combined oral

contraceptive pill can be protective

against hair thinning in women. Hair

transplantation has also gained

increasing interest in recent years with

notable public figures posting photos of

themselves after the procedure with an

enviable new hairline.

A new treatment that is gaining

popularity is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) -

a treatment whereby the growth factors

in your own blood are extracted from a

blood sample taken from the arm (a bit

like having a blood test). The portion of

blood containing these growth factors is

then re-injected to the desired

treatment area. PRP is used in several

other medical fields namely wound

healing, tendon injuries, some forms of

arthritis and in facial rejuvenation,

coined famously as the ‘vampire face lift’.

Lab studies have shown that PRP can

re-activate dormant hair follicles and

several patient case studies have

demonstrated encouraging results with

regrowth and thickening of hair. Larger

Contrary to common belief, baldness is not just passed on from your maternal grandfather.


FOCUS The Magazine 27


All the information contained in this article

is intended for your general knowledge

and is not a substitute for medical advice

or treatment. FOCUS magazine cannot

and does not give medical advice. This

article is not intended to take the place of

your doctor’s advice. Please discuss your

symptoms and needs with your doctor or

medical provider.”

trials are however needed to establish

the efficacy when compared to more

established treatments. Although like

most treatments for balding, repeated

sessions would be required to maintain

effect, the main advantage of PRP is its

safety profile – the fact that it is not a

drug and is derived from your own

blood appeals to many as a low risk

alternative treatment to taking life long

(usually) hormonal medication.

With the expanding use of PRP to treat

a range of medical conditions, perhaps

after all, there has always been some

truth in the mystical beliefs of the

healing properties of blood.

Dr Sharon Wong is a UK-trained Consultant Dermatologist. She provides

medical and surgical treatments for a comprehensive range of general skin

conditions in adults and children. She is also one of few dermatologists in

London who specialises in hair and scalp disorders. To book an appointment

please call 020 7234 2009 www.hcatheshard.com

Martin Saweirs

28 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


World Para Athletics and IAAF Championships

Ready, steady, go!

What will you do this summer? There is

no need to rush out of London because

once again the capital is hosting a major

sporting event, the World Para Athletics

(14-23 July) and International Association

of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

Championships (4-13 August), at the

London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth

Olympic Park.

The competitions’ organisers have recruited

4,000 volunteers from more than

15,000 applicants. Those ‘runners’ who

have been selected have undergone a

lengthy process of role allocation and

training sessions to make sure that all goes


It is the first time that Great Britain will

host the event comprising all disciplines.

Prior to meeting in London for this year’s

Championships, 16 IAAF world competitions

from marathons to cross-country

and track races have been hosted in various

cities across the country. This tournament,

which is one of the most important

athletic events in the world, will gather

nearly 3,300 athletes, from more than 200

countries, to compete over 20 days.

The 700,000 tickets to attend the

Championship were first sold in a ballot in

August 2016 with additional releases of

tickets on sale since September on a first-

The International Association of

Athletics Federations (IAAF),

headquartered in Monaco since

1993, was originally founded in

Stockholm in 1912 as the

International Amateur Athletic

Federation aiming to standardise

programmes, equipment and world

record keeping as athletics grew in

importance. By the early 1980s,

amateurism was abandoned for

professionalism, funds were made

available to help athletes attain their

personal best, and athletics was no

longer confined to the Olympic

Games. Nowadays the association

governs 214 federations across the

world - an incredible growth since

the 17 original members in 1912 –

and supervises 24 events.

According to the latest statistics, 6% of children and 16% of working adults are

disabled. Of the total number of people classified as such,18.5% played sport

regularly in 2012 showing an increase of nearly 3% in six years while the

number of able-bodied athletes stayed at about 39%. Athletics comes in at 5th

position of the top sports practiced, after swimming (1st) and cycling (4th) so

there is plenty of room for involvement. As stressed by the UK Athletics

Federation, anyone can participate in athletics. Parallel Success is a platform

detailing information on how disabled people can participate in athletics. For

more information visit: www.academy.uka.org.uk/parallel-success/get-involved/


FOCUS The Magazine 29

Athletic games only really started in Britain in the 19th century, despite contests

in running, throwing and lifting, which had taken place across the UK since

Roman times. The year 1864 saw the first official competition between

Cambridge and Oxford. Since then there have been many athletic sport

clubs who have made it to the Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Harold

Abrahams and Sir Roger Bannister, who carried the colours of their universities.

Athletics is increasingly finding its place in the life of the nation, from the

internationally acclaimed London Marathon and its stars such as Paula Radcliffe

to the Commonwealth Games, both of which rival the Olympic Games in

popularity. How many of us regularly wear out our trainers? Today, should you

wish to find a club near you or take part in a competition, simply visit


The famous BBC children’s

programme Blue Peter, headed

by British track star Jessica Ennis-

Hill, launched a mascot design

competition in mid-January 2017.

Children between the ages of six

and 15 were invited to submit

drawings for two mascots. The

winner and two runners-up

received a VIP tour of the stadium

and have been invited to attend the


come, first-served basis through the official

website www.tickets.london2017athletics.com.

Some may now also be found on

other traditional ticket sale and resale


In line with the increasing success of the

Paralympic competitions and the Olympic

Games in Rio (4,316 athletes, 528 medals,

2.15 million spectators) and the 147

medals brought back home by British

para-athletes, the authorities launched a

ticket offer scheme for school children in

Greater London in mid-January 2017.

Tickets were sold at £3 per child with free

access for an accompanying adult and free

transportation for children. The Mayor of

London viewed those 250,000 tickets sold

to schools as an opportunity to support

disabled athletes and provide children

with an incentive to reach their goals,

whatever limits they may encounter in life.

The organisers have made sure to promote

the 11 British competitors and a

timetable of their event appearances can

be found at


Should you not be fortunate enough to

have a ticket, or have already planned to

be away from London in July and August,

you can still stay well-informed by downloading

the IAAF app. This will allow you

to follow the news and results live, as well

as view photos and videos posted as the

events take place.

So, there is no excuse not to support

those athletes who once again will show

endurance and passion and give us that

boost to later tie up our laces and pull on

those leggings

Cécile Faure is the founder and CEO of Emois Gourmands Ltd in London, a company sourcing and importing French

boutique wines and gourmet food, dedicated to the promotion of artisan products and advocate for sustainability. She

may be reached at mscecilefaure@gmail.com and through www.emoisgourmands.com

30 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



My favourite things

Madhubala Chaubey moved to the UK from India a year ago because of her

husband’s job. She has also lived in Kampala, Uganda. Madhu is fluent in

English, Hindi, Tamil and has a degree in Hotel Management and

Education. She is a foodie who thinks that Indian cuisine has variety and

balance but also loves Greek and Italian cuisine. Madhu is fascinated by

nature, historical monuments and museums.

Best advice to new arrivals

Join an organisation like FOCUS to meet people

and motivate yourself. take some tours to

discover the city.

Preferred pub

the Old thameside Inn at Southwark –

an amazing location blending old and

new London.

The ultimate boutique

Harrods for the brands and the display.

Favourite place to shop

for home:


Your first memory of arriving

in the UK

Brilliant clear blue skies with sunshine and

rain along with cold, chilling winds.


mode of


I like the tube

especially the Metropolitan line.

Most fabulous hair salon

Gina Conway at

Westbourne Park –

nice ambience

and great




‘the Real Greek’ in

Westfield and ‘Hazev’ for

vegetarian options and


The best place to

take the kids on a

rainy day

Either the Natural

History Museum or the

British Library.

My favourite museum

the British Museum.

The best spot to people watch

Most places have squares or the walkway along the

thames from London Bridge is a good place to watch

people go by.

London’s best-kept secret

the amount of history and art

that there is in every corner.

The best

children’s shop

Hamleys toy shop caters to all ages.

Best thing about

London in Spring

the flowers everywhere and longer days.

Most watched British TV shows

Sherlock Holmes, British Sewing Bee, and the Great

British Menu.

What fascinates me about


their polite manners and ability to stand in a queue,

their soft speech and satirical comments.

What astounds me

the city’s planning and connectivity. Most places are

near to tube stations or a short walk from the bus


What confuses me

the usage of the same names

with a slight difference, which

all refer to different areas e.g.

Roxborough Road,

Roxborough Lane, Roxborough

Avenue etc.

What makes London special

All the shows that cater for people of different

ages, the Royal Albert Hall for music, and the

theatres for children and adults.

What makes Londoners different

For me it’s their ability and willingness to work for

society by volunteering. I also like the pride they take

in their history and culture.


FOCUS The Magazine 31





Time Out (Free): Discover the best things

to do, free events, gigs and art exhibitions in

London and even book your theatre tickets.

Discover and explore new places to eat and

drink with curated lists of restaurants,

events, bars and things to do at the weekend.

Yplan (Free): This app is about making it as

simple as possible to discover and book

things to do in your city that evening. Film,

theatre, music, food and drink, performances,

comedy, culture, nightlife and sports. Browse

through a curated shortlist of the best

events near you and book in just two taps.

There is no need to print anything; everything

is 100% mobile.

DOJO (Free): Dojo helps you find the

coolest places to eat, drink and visit in

London. Just enter some simple preferences

and start getting recommendations tailored

to you. Every day the app’s staff finds the

best things to do in the city, focusing on independent,

quirky, hidden gems that you will

love, but probably don’t know about.

Integrates with Uber and Citymapper.

Foursquare (Free): Find the best places to

eat, drink, shop, or visit in any city in the

world. Save them so that Foursquare learns

what you like and leads you to places you’ll


32 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017



Fever (Free): Selects events you want to see,

based on your interests including: Food and

drink (bars, wine and beer tasting, brunch

spots, etc.) Nightlife (clubs, guest lists, access

to private shows, etc.) Performance (music

festivals, concerts, theatres, comedy shows,

etc.) Film (cinema tickets, pop-up movie

screenings, themed film nights) Art (museums,

galleries, exhibitions, artists’ openings, etc.)

Fashion (pop-up stores, runway shows, launch

parties, etc.) Charity (galas, fundraising events,

volunteer initiatives, etc.)

KweekWeek (Free): KweekWeek is an

events marketplace that connects organisers

and consumers in a single space and offers

promotions, ticketing, updates and recommendations.

You can browse by either date

or category: art and culture, charity, classes

and workshops, conferences and exhibitions,

festivals, food and drinks, health and wellbeing,

kids and family, networking, nightlife,

shows, sports, students and technology.

Hype (Free): This app focuses on art, parties,

food, architecture and outdoor activities.

Hype is based on influencer networks, a

group of people from different backgrounds

who are passionate about the cities in which

they live. Each curator has a different focus

and neighbourhood. They keep an eye on

what’s cool, trending, and happening right


Stagedoor (Free): For the London theatrelover.

Find out what’s on where and when.

Follow directors, casts and venue; find out first

about any London show and get notifications

when shows are closing so you don’t miss

out; leave reviews and let your friends know

what you’ve seen.

Frugl (Free): Daily offers and events in

London at a price to suit your pocket. Find

out free or discounted events around


DesignMyNight (Free): Discover and book

your perfect night out. Browse and book into

London’s top bars, restaurants, pubs and

clubs, as well as buy tickets to the hand-picked

selection of London’s best events. These include

anything from pop-up bars to rooftop

cinema, secret supper clubs to immersive theatre

events, offers, hot tickets, best restaurants,

quirky events, sports, fun birthday ideas

and much more.

InList (Free): InList makes booking nightlife

and special events easier than ever. The app

grants you reservations when you want

them, with a nightlife expert in the palm of

your hand. It’s like being treated as a local

VIP 24/7 in the most exciting destinations in

the world, including London. Purchase tickets

to concerts, sporting events and film festivals

such as Wimbledon and the Super Bowl to

the Cannes International Film Festival and

MTV Video Music Awards.

SocialNightlife (Free): This app offers an

easy, fun, and social way to experience the

best nightlife. Explore thousands of venues

and events in more than 100 cities across

the world, connect with other attendees

wherever you go, and earn rewards for

going out.

Yule Nightlife (Free): Connect with friends

and find real-time information for bars,

nightclubs, events, breweries, and bowling alleys

wherever you are. With Yule, you can

quickly link to reliable social content from

Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You

can post photos, videos, and text to share

your nightlife experiences with others

nearby, or even post anonymously! You can

also Follow your favourite venues and

events to instantly access their profiles.

In our next issue be sure to look for our roundup of the best children’s apps.


FOCUS The Magazine 33


FOCUS Events & Seminars




Life begins just

outside your

comfort zone –

How to grow your confidence

Thursday, 11th May 10.30 – 12.30.

Free for members, £25 for non-members


Every new challenge requires one thing: the

confidence to take the first step. Yet most of us

battle with self-doubt from time to time – holding

us back and keeping us from achieving our goals.

In this interactive workshop, executive leadership

and career coach Karin Mueller will provide an

insight into the nature of such self-doubt and will

introduce participants to tools and techniques to

overcome it and grow their self-confidence.

Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid


Career networking evening

Thursday, 18th May 18.30 – 20.30.

Free for members and non-members

We invite current and former Career Workshop

participants as well as those members looking for

work in the UK to join us for a networking evening

at FOCUS. this will be a great opportunity to meet

or catch up with former workshop graduates as

well as a few of FOCUS Career Coaches. Don’t

miss the chance to hear what jobs other members

have landed – their successes are very inspiring!

Guided tour of the Lord’s

Cricket Ground

Saturday, 13th May 16.00–17.00. £20 per adult,

£12 per child (5-15 years old and students with a

valid student ID) at St John's Wood Rd NW8 8QN

Join us for an exclusive opportunity to see one of

the most iconic sights in British sport: Lord’s. What is

the history of cricket and that of this fabulous playing

ground? Why is it called Lord’s? Join us behind the

scenes to explore the secrets of the “Home of

Cricket” and learn about its fascinating story!

Middlesex versus Surrey at Lord's

Cricket ground

Check out our website for a complete listing of upcoming events & seminars. www.focus-info.org

34 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017






Breakfast at FOCUS

Wednesday, 3rd May 10.00 – 12.00.

Free for members and non-members

Join us for an informal social gathering at our office.

take this opportunity to meet other FOCUS

members and our energetic team and to learn

more about our programmes and upcoming events.

You are welcome to bring along a guest.

The parent factor: the role of a parent in

their child’s education

Monday, 8th May 10.30 – 12.30.

Free for members, £25 for non-members at FOCUS

We are delighted to welcome back at FOCUS Ed

Richardson, Director of Education at Keystone, for a

presentation that will help you understand better the

role parents can play in their children’s learning. Ed’s

talk will encourage parents to think critically about

different approaches to learning, to challenge a few

basic assumptions about the school-student-parent

paradigm and to consider the parental role in a child’s

education. With exam-time approaching, Ed will also

give some tips on how to help children deal with

homework and make the revision process more

effective. the talk is suitable for parents with children

of all ages but will be particularly applicable for

primary school age children.


FOCUS The Magazine 35


FOCUS Sponsors


welcomes Beacon

Financial Education

as our Platinum


We are grateful for the invaluable support of our sponsors including

those not listed below, see www.focus-info.org for further details.

P L At I N U M



We move, lend, invest and

protect money worldwide

Beacon Financial Education


Educating expats for

global financial health

Goldman Sachs


Investment banking

Knight Frank LLP


the local estate agent with a

global network

Morgan Stanley


Global financial

services firm

SA Law


Expert immigration

and legal advice


ACS International Schools


International and American




the World’s Leading Art


Expat Academy


Where Global Mobility

Professionals learn, connect

and share

HCA Hospitals


London’s number one private

hospital group

J.P. Morgan


A leader in financial services

Shell International Ltd


Major oil, gas and chemical




Global financial services firm


The American School

in London

Independent, co-educational

day school


Providing insurance, savings and

investment products worldwide

British American Tobacco

World’s most international

tobacco group


Providing bespoke tax advice

and compliance services to

protect your wealth

Dwight School London

Igniting the spark of genius

in every child


A major integrated

energy company

European Bank for

Reconstruction and


Investing in countries from

Central Europe and

Central Asia

Greycoat Lumleys

For the recruitment of

professional domestic staff

Jaffe & Co/American Tax


US and UK tax services


International School

Educating young women to

become future global leaders

State Street Bank

& Trust Company

Signature financial group

TASIS The American School

in England

American curriculum

and IB diploma

Withers LLP

A leading international

law firm advising individuals

and businesses


The Association

of Relocation

Professionals (ARP)

Professional UK body of the

relocation industry


A global



PIMCO Europe Ltd

Global investment

management services


tax and advisory

services for public and

private clients

36 FOCUS The Magazine May/June 2017


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