J'AIME January 2021

jaimemagazine

Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1

J’AIME

Y O U R L O C A L L U X U R Y L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E

Bossy

Boots:

LOUNGING AROUND -

KEY UPDATES FOR YOUR

LIVING SPACE

YOUR JANUARY

FOOTWEAR SORTED

Win

£100 of soft

furnishings

SUITS YOU, SIR:

MEET BIRMINGHAM’S

CRAFTSMAN TAILOR


FOR ALL ASPECTS OF FAMILY LAW

Trust QS Davisons Solicitors to support you

through your divorce.

Davisons Solicitors

HELPING CLIENTS THROUGH THE

DIVORCE PERIOD BY:

l

l

l

Eliminating any acrimony by making the process as

easy as possible

Reducing uncertainty and concerns around finances,

home and childcare arrangements

Reducing the stress involved

Meet your friendly

Four Oaks Solicitor

Jane Flemming

Associate Solicitor –

Family Department

JANE WILL SUPPORT YOU TO:

l Envision a clear solution and enjoy peace of mind

l Move on and enjoy a fresh start

l Stop worrying about finances and start

planning a new life

WITH OVER 20 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE AS A FAMILY LAW EXPERT IN CHILDREN AND FINANCE, CALL JANE TODAY ON: 0121 756 3513

SAME-DAY RESPONSE

To ensure you receive

an excellent client

and legal service.

HELPING THE LOCAL

NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY

We’re here if you

need to drop in.

WE WORK WITH YOU

A dedicated family

law solicitor will

personally guide you

through the process.

YOU COME FIRST

Find our hundreds

of 5 star Google

reviews online.

THE

DAVISONS

DIFFERENCE

Our pledges to you.

KEEP YOU UP-TO-DATE

We will keep you

right up-to-date

with our exclusive

case tracking system.

TRIPLE-ACCREDITED

We are triple-accredited, under

Lexcel, Quality Conveyancing

Scheme and a member of

the Conveyancing Association.

0121 756 3513 sutton@qsdavisons.com

www.qualitysolicitors.com/davisons

254 Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2UH

Offices in Colmore Row l Cotteridge l Edgbaston l Solihull l Stratford-upon-Avon l Sutton Coldfield l Weoley Castle l Wolverhampton


Welcome to J’AIME

Here at J’AIME we’re very excited to be starting a

shiny new year with all the possibilities that brings.

We’re hopeful that life will gradually start to return to

normal this year and that we’ll get some of our muchmissed

freedoms back. Oh for days when we can go

out for dinner with a group of friends, catch a film,

sit in the audience of a brilliant show at the theatre

or even just hug the people we love. Those days will

come.

2021 brings exciting developments for J’AIME. You’ll

see the address of our website across the bottom of

each page in this magazine and that’s because we’ve

given www.jaimemagazine.com a wonderful

revamp. You can now visit the website to read

everything you see in the magazine plus much, much

more. The website will be updated each day and will

include positive, uplifting lifestyle articles from right

across the Midlands.

As well as being delivered to homes in selected

postcodes J’AIME is now available to pick up free of

charge in major supermarkets around the Midlands.

You can also read a digital version of the magazine

free of charge at read.jaimemagazine.com

Within the January magazine you can enter a

competition to win £100 of soft furnishings, read

about Birmingham’s craftsman bespoke tailor and find

out about the best walking spots in the region.

Add to that our usual mix of interiors, property,

fashion, beauty, travel, fitness, what’s on and food and

we hope we have something for everyone.

At the time of going to press we have no idea of when

coronavirus restrictions will ease in the region. We

hope our upbeat, positive content will bring a little

positivity to your life.

Please don’t forget to support your local independent

businesses. When you buy from a small business you’re

supporting your community and helping to keep

people in jobs.

From everyone at J’AIME, may we wish you a very

happy new year. We’re looking forward to sharing

2021 with you.

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

07388 335 931

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

CONTRIBUTORS: JENNY AMPHLETT, HOLLY

THOMSON, RAUL ROMERO, DEBORAH MITCHELL

J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY

PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED BY KEP

LIMITED, TAMWORTH.

Check us out online at:

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM

Find us on

/JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

@JAIMEMAGAZINE

SPONSORED BY

3


CONTENTS

InsideJ’aime this month...

6 Suits you, sir - Meet Birmingham’s craftsman

bespoke tailor

12 Property - Prepare to be stunned by our

property of the month

14 Interiors - Embrace the colour teal

18 Interiors - Give your lounge a new year update

22 Food and drink - Take it easy with a restaurantquality

takeaway

24 Travel - Why a holiday close to home could be

just the ticket

26 Travel - Get your groove on in Cuba

32 Fitness - Why you should be setting your

summer fitness goals now

34 Fashion - New year, new boots

36 What’s on - Great ideas for the month ahead

38 What’s on - Four beautiful gardens to visit

this month

40 What’s on - Our guide to some of the best

walking spots in the region

42 Positive thinking - Why 2021 really can be your

year

44 In the news - Meet the writer and the schoolgirl

who are both winning at life

46 In the news - Meet the award-winning Pakistani

author who chose to publish her book 4,000

miles away, in Staffordshire

48 Competition - Win £100 of soft furnishings

49 Health - The little pill that could kickstart your

weight loss regime

50 Beauty - Why great-looking skin starts from the

inside

SPONSORED BY

4


Shine a light on 2021

12-months

mortgage

paid!

Discover a new space and a new you...

Is it time for a reboot? Maybe you need more space or maybe you now

need less room. Whatever your reasons we’ve got homes that suit

everyone. From stylish open plan living for the whole family to study and

snug spaces to hide the kids away (or yourself!) we’ve got it covered.

For more information

please call:

01785 788 312

or search:

Bovis Homes Mercia

We have 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes from £199,995

Appointment visits and virtual tours available!

Don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable to visit us just yet,

you can still talk to us over the phone or via a virtual call.

Mortgage Paid for 12 months offer is available on selected homes only, not in conjunction with any other offer. Paid as a cash lump sum upon legal completion and calculated as the cash equivalent of monthly mortgage repayments

of £600 per month for the period of 12 months from legal completion. Cash lump sum capped at a maximum of 3% of the purchase price, subject to lender’s criteria, qualification and acceptance of cash incentives. Not applicable

to second homeowners or investor purchasers. We reserve the right to withdraw the incentive at any time without prior notice. ^Flooring is provided from our standard range unless otherwise specified. Photograph depicts a typical

Bovis Home exterior/interior. Elevation may differ to that shown. Internal images may include optional upgrades at an additional cost. Price & availability correct at time of going to print/broadcast. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED

IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE ORANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. Ask our sales advisor for details. 5-star home rating based on the independent. Offer ends 31-12-2020. 5-star home rating based on

the independent annual home owner survey conducted by the Home Builders Federation. GDD57897


F E AT U R E

Suits you, sir

MARK PURCELL IS BIRMINGHAM’S LAST REMAINING APPRENTICE-TRAINED

BESPOKE TAILOR. JENNY AMPHLETT WENT TO MEET HIM

A three piece suit handmade by Mark

Purcell using British woven wool is

likely to set you back around £2,800

and take at least three months to be

made - yet he has people queuing up

for them.

The 52-year-old, who works out of a

converted garage at his Handsworth

Wood Home, has made suits for

everyone from pop stars to wealthy

businessmen. He makes plus fours for

the landed gentry and has even made

frock coats for an ancient order of

woodsmen, including leather pouches

to hold their arrows.

His USP is that he’s a true craftsman

in an automated age - doing

everything from measuring to design

concept and from pattern cutting

to sewing personally, often using

traditional methods.

“A lot of people call themselves a

tailor and a lot of people use the work

bespoke, but there aren’t many people

around who are doing what I do,” he

said.

“I’m the only remaining

apprentice-trained bespoke tailor in

Birmingham. I like to think of myself

as a true craftsman, a true tailor.

“I’m first and foremost a coat maker,

although I can do every other part of

what it takes to make a three piece

suit.”

Mark didn’t actually start his tailoring

apprenticeship until the age of 27,

after first training to be an engineer.

It may seem an odd transition, but he

says there are definitely transferable

skills between the seemingly very

different worlds of work.

6 www.jaimemagazine.com


“I spent four years working in a factory, training

to be an engineer and initially thinking that was

what I wanted to do with my life. It was only

later, when my love for tailoring developed, that I

realised that was where my passions really lay.”

Mark was house sharing with friends who were

in a band during his engineering years and found

himself hankering after a taste of their creative

lifestyle.

“I thought it looked like they were having

an awful lot more fun than me. I’d always

wanted to be a craftsman. I decided to pack

in the engineering, do some travelling with my

friends’ band and then look at finding a career

afterwards.

“So I basically did an engineering apprenticeship

then ran away with the circus. When I wasn’t

driving them to gigs I was learning to sew at

night school and making shirts and suits.”

Mark was making clothes for himself and his

friends, sometimes the more flamboyant the

better, and getting involved in the local music

scene.

“A chain of events led to me working with

fashion designer Patti Bell, of the fashion label

and boutique Kahn and Bell opposite the

Hippodrome in Birmingham.”

Patti Bell was at the forefront of New

Romantic fashion and made outfits for many

of the best known pop bands of the day.

“She could call Boy George and the

members of Duran Duran her personal

friends. She was Birmingham’s answer to

Vivienne Westwood. It was very exciting for

me to be a part of that.”

Mark is himself a good friend of Pete

Williams, the bass player from 80s band

Dexys Midnight Runners, and made suits for

a series of shows the band performed at the

Duke of York Theatre in London.

“Pete put in a request for a suit and I

knocked it up for him as quickly as possible.”

He’s also made suits for a member of punk

rock band The Ruts.

Mark set up on his own as Mark Purcell

Bespoke Tailoring in 2013, aiming to use his

experience working for Patti Bell and other

later employers to offer a unique service as a

complete craftsman tailor.

“I just wanted to be a craftsman. I didn’t

want to work in retail or to buy in then sell

ready-to-wear items. I just wanted to use my

www.jaimemagazine.com

7


skills to make coats, suits and other items for

people to invest in and wear for many years.”

As well as working directly for individual

customers he has, over the years, made very

special coats for a luxury brand in the south of

England that supplies none other than Captain

Tom with his coats.

It generally takes Mark at least three months

to make each item, which includes fittings,

pattern cutting and stitching the garment.

A three piece suit made with British woven

wool costs in the region of £2,800, although

Mark says people are less inclined to order

business suits at the moment and more likely

to be looking for bespoke countrywear.

“People aren’t in the office and they aren’t

wearing a suit to work from home, so instead

they’re investing in clothes for outdoor

pursuits.

“At the moment I’m making a naval peacoat

for a gentleman. It’s one key item that

he’s going to be wearing for many years to

come and probably handing down to future

generations.

“It isn’t cheap to have it made but it isn’t until

he’s owned it for 20 years and looks back that

he’ll realise that it’s been a cheap garment

because he’s had so much use out of it.

“A ready-to-wear coat might last you for three

years before the cloth starts to go thin and you

get rid of it. Where’s the economy in that?”

Mark says his customers are drawn from

all walks of life: businesspeople, pop stars,

enthusiasts for a particular era of fashion.

He says they can often be categorised as either

connoisseurs or people with an unusual figure

who buy items to fit them off the peg.

He even has one client who was bitten on the

arm by a shark and needs clothes created to fit

accordingly.

Perhaps because of his interest in the music

scene Mark says his own preference is for

flamboyant clothes, but that he always tries to

gauge what might work best for the customer

rather than himself.

“If you have flamboyant tastes then go for a

suit with a flamboyant lining, but if you don’t

then you should avoid that because it’ll start to

annoy you and you won’t want to wear it.

“People are very critical of what they see. If

someone walks into a room wearing clothes

that don’t fit very well then we critique them,

8

www.jaimemagazine.com


Your health

doesn’t have

to wait

See a leading specialist in our Covidsecure

hospital.

Fast access to diagnosis and treatment

You don’t have to wait to see one of

our specialists, because less waiting

means less worrying.

Over 300 treatments

Get access to hundreds of tests and

treatments, some of which you can

only have privately.

Advanced technology

We use the latest, most advanced

technology and techniques to get the

best outcome for you.

Meet the experts

We are now offering free virtual mini consultations*

with a Consultant from the comfort of your own

home. These ten-minute 1:1 consultations are

designed to discuss your symptoms and learn about

possible treatment options.

04

Feb

11

Mar

23

Mar

Non-invasive weight loss options, from 4pm

with Mr A Khan

Break free from back or neck pain, from 4pm

with Mr F Hassan

Walk away from hip and knee pain, from

4pm with Mr J Arbuthnot and Mr C Mcbryde

Booking is essential, so visit our website or call to

book your place or find out more.

Book to see an expert today

Search ‘Spire Little Aston Hospital’

Call 0121 514 7034

*Mini consultations are an opportunity to ask any questions you have about surgery and are not a formal

outpatient consultation. If you wish to proceed to surgery or your consultant suggests that further treatment

may be necessary, a full outpatient appointment will be required to assess your suitability for surgery/treatment.


it’s a natural instinct.

“But if someone walks into a room in perfectly fitting

clothes then it almost gives them an air of mystery,

we don’t immediately feel that we know something

about them.”

Mark mostly creates menswear but he does make

clothes for women too, such as tailored country

pursuits jackets.

He still makes clothes for himself when he has time,

and tries to make sure he treats himself to at least

one Mark Purcell Bespoke Tailoring item each year.

“It reminds me of the days when I used to go to the

fancy silk stall and buy fabric to make a shirt I knew

nobody else would be wearing when I went out.

“Most recently I’ve made myself a nice tweed

bomber jacket. It’s good to be able to show these

things to customers to give them ideas for the sorts of

things they could have made too.”

A far cry from 80s pop bands, Mark says his biggest

style icon was The Duke of Windsor.

“I admired him sartorially. The way he matched his

clothes together was fabulous. When his possessions

were sold off a catalogue was put together, and the

suits were just fantastic. The colours and designs

were fabulous. Such an inspiration.”

Mark Purcell Bespoke Tailoring,

https://markpurcell.co.uk, 07890 003523

10 www.jaimemagazine.com


アパート

夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀

B E S P O K E F I N E

J E W E L L E R Y

䈀 䔀 匀 倀 伀 䬀 䔀 䘀 䤀 一 䔀 䨀 䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀 ꀀ

伀 渀 攀 漀 昀 琀 栀 攀 氀 愀 爀 最 攀 猀 琀 挀 漀 氀 氀 攀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 漀 昀

挀 漀 渀 琀 攀 洀 瀀 漀 爀 愀 爀 礀 ǻ 渀 攀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 椀 渀 琀 栀 攀 唀 䬀

Specialists in designing

and making, remodelling

and refurbishing

匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀 猀 椀 渀 搀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 洀 愀 欀 椀 渀 最 Ⰰ

爀 攀 洀 漀 搀 攀 氀 氀 椀 渀 最 愀 渀 搀 爀 攀 昀 甀 爀 戀 椀 猀 栀 椀 渀 最 昀 漀 爀 アパート 礀 攀 愀 爀 猀

ALLEN 䄀 䰀 䰀 䔀 一 䈀 BROWN 刀 伀 圀 一 䨀 JEWELLERY

䔀 圀 䔀 䰀 䰀 䔀 刀 夀

䠀 Heart 攀 愀 爀 琀 漀 of 昀 吀 The 栀 攀 䌀 Country 漀 甀 渀 琀 爀 礀 匀 Shopping 栀 漀 瀀 瀀 椀 渀 最 Village 嘀 椀 氀 氀 愀 最 攀

匀 Swinfen, 眀 椀 渀 昀 攀 渀 Ⰰ Lichfield, 䰀 椀 挀 栀 ǻ 攀 氀 搀 Ⰰ

匀 Staffordshire 琀 愀 昀 昀 漀 爀 搀 猀 栀 椀 爀 攀 WS14 圀 匀 㐀 9QR 㤀 儀 刀

01543 㔀 㐀 アパート 㐀 481948 㠀 㤀 㐀 㠀

眀 www.allenbrownjewellery.co.uk

眀 眀 ⸀ 愀 氀 氀 攀 渀 戀 爀 漀 眀 渀 樀 攀 眀 攀 氀 氀 攀 爀 礀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀

昀 椀 琀


P R O P E RTY

Property of the Month

EACH MONTH WE SHOWCASE ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS PROPERTIES

CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET IN THE MIDLANDS. THIS HOUSE HAS TO BE ONE

OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR YOU WILL SEE ALL YEAR.

Wall House, Green Lane, Wall, near Lichfield. Guide price: £4.25 million.

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878

THE AGENT SAYS: Wall House, located in the historic

Hamlet of Wall on the outskirts of Lichfield, is a residence

that’s steeped in history and charm. It offers a rare

opportunity to escape the city and acquire an enviably

located country pile.

The remarkable eight-bedroom, Grade II listed Georgian

property is reported to have been built on the site of a

sixteenth century residence and still contains part of the

structure as well as some of the panelling from the earlier

house.

Wall House stands in beautiful formal gardens with more

than four acres of grounds and commanding views over the

Staffordshire countryside.

Over a century later, Wall House still retains many of its

exquisite original features and has been sympathetically

enlarged and luxuriously appointed by the current owners,

who have also obtained planning permission for a singlestorey

structure of circa 1900 sq. feet in the secret garden,

next to the walled garden. The extension is planned to house

a state-of-the-art leisure complex with swimming pool or

alternatively could be used as a contemporary guest annexe

to the main house.

Wall House really is the perfect home for the discerning buyer

and there is truly very little to rival it as a prime example

of authenticity existing comfortably within the luxurious

modern world.

W E L O V E :

THE MIX OF HISTORIC CHARACTER

FEATURES AND MODERN COMFORTS.

12

www.jaimemagazine.com


MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS

BROADWAY KITCHENS

BROADWAY KITCHENS

BROADWAY KITCHENS

MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS

Family Business Est. 1974

MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS

MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS

WE HAVE MOVED TO A NEW LARGER SHOWROOM

Visit our Birmingham showroom to see and feel the quality.

Call to discuss your kitchen project and book a FREE,

no-obligation design consultation today!

SUTTON COLDFIELD 0121 353 4999

www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com

A photograph of one of

our most recent installations

Visit our Birmingham showroom to see and feel the quality.

Visit Call our to Birmingham discuss your showroom kitchen project to see and and book feel the a FREE, quality.

Call to no-obligation

Visit our new,

discuss your kitchen design

larger

project consultation Sutton Coldfield

Visit our Birmingham showroom to see and book today!

feel the a FREE,

quality.

no-obligation showroom to see and

design feel

consultation the quality

Call to discuss your kitchen project and book today!

a FREE,

SUTTON COLDFIELD 0121 353 4999

Call no-obligation to discuss your design kitchen consultation project and today! book a

FREE, no-obligation SUTTON COLDFIELD design consultation 0121 353 4999today

www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com

SUTTON COLDFIELD 0121 353 4999

128-138 www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com

Hardwick Rd, Sutton Coldfield B74 3DP

www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com

Tel: 0121 353 4999

www.kitchensbybroadway.co.uk


I N T E R I O R S

Ocean

hues

AS we head into a brand new year after the

unprecedented chaos that has been 2020, it’s time to take

a moment to reflect and reset. And it’s only natural that we

want our spaces to mirror that need for contemplation and

renewal.

Paint specialists Benjamin Moore have encompassed just

that in their Colour of the Year for 2021 - Aegean Teal.

Intriguing, balanced, and deeply soothing, Aegean Teal

creates natural harmony.

“This year’s Colour of the Year is a balanced and

soothing blue-green hue, softened with a touch of grey to

create spaces with a casual elegance.” says Helen Shaw,

marketing director at Benjamin Moore UK.

This ocean-inspired shade works well in a multitude of

settings, bringing joy to all interior spaces. Adding a fresh,

crisp feel to a decor scheme, it also creates a relaxed and

soothing atmosphere - exactly what we need in the current

challenging climate.

TEAL VELVET THROW, £220, THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.

WWW.FRENCHBEDROOMCOMPANY.CO.UK

CHEVRON THROW, SHIMU.

WWW.SHIMU.CO.UK

£45

£45

£119

PORTO LINEN LAMPSHADE,

WWW.MADE.COM

£599

CARNABY FOOTSTOOL IN TEAL VELVET,

ATKIN AND THYME.

WWW.ATKINANDTHYME.CO.UK

ARPEN DESK IN TEAL AND BRASS,

WWW.MADE.COM

14

www.jaimemagazine.com


£67 £135 £779

VILLA NOVA SAMI CUSHION, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

BROSTE COPENHAGEN AIR LOUNGE CHAIR,

CUCKOOLAND. WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM

PINEAPPLE GLASS FLOOR LAMP

WITH TEAL VELVET SHADE, AUDENZA.

WWW.AUDENZA.COM

TEAL AND GREEN GLASS MARBLE EFFECT

LAMP, NEEDWOOD LIVING, ALREWAS.

WWW.NEEDWOODLIVING.CO.UK

£495

£449

£125

EICHHOLTZ SET OF TWO COOPER DINING

CHAIRS, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.

WWW.SWEETPEAANDWILLOW.COM

TANDY DRESSING TABLE,

WWW.MADE.COM

FINCHLEY TWO SEATER SOFA, £699,

SOFOLOGY. WWW.SOFOLOGY.CO.UK

SUBMARINE BLUE HERITAGE LOUNGE DESIGN

BY NAOMI STARR AT NAOMI STARR DESIGN.

WWW.NAOMISTARRDESIGN.COM


BENJAMIN MOORE COLOUR OF THE YEAR

2021 AEGEAN TEAL, FROM £24 FOR 0.94L.

WWW.BENJAMINMOOREPAINT.CO.UK

ACHILLES TEAL MIX FISH SCALE TILES,

£39.95 PER SQM, WALLS AND FLOORS.

WWW.WALLSANDFLOORS.CO.UK

THE REBEL THREE SEATER SOFA IN

A BOX IN TEAL, £899, SNUG SHACK.

WWW.SNUGSHACK.CO.UK

LEO LIGHT TEAL KING SIZE BED, £549,

DANETTI. WWW.DANETTI.COM

DULWICH MMIDI SOFA, £1,218, DARLINGS OF CHELSEA.

WWW.DARLINGSOFCHELSEA.CO.UK


Fully bespoke &

custom designed

Bedrooms

Home Office

Family Rooms

Sliding Doors

Walk In

Wardrobes

5 The Lanes

340 Birmingham Road

Sutton Coldfield

0121 377 6090

Based in the heart of Staffordshire in the picturesque

villages of Alrewas & Tutbury, our shops are packed

with ideas and inspiration for your home. Incorporating

Jo Raybould Interior Design within, for those who

require the services of a professional designer.

needwoodliving.co.uk

info@needwoodliving.co.uk

oliversfittedfurniture.co.uk

136 Main Street

Alrewas, DE13 7ED

01283 711 272

7A High Street,

Tutbury, DE13 9LP

01283 813 322

Curtains | Blinds | Wallpaper

Refresh your home with

soft furnishings from our family

owned and run business

3 year guarantee

Expert fitting service

Best of Lichfield «««««

Top brands across all price ranges

Lichfield Showroom

NOW OPEN

Interior Choice

1st Floor

Sure Store

WS13 6UY

Sale starts Jan 4th

25% off Selected ranges

By appointment only. FREE parking. Please book in

online: www.interiorchoice.net or call 01543 406162

PHOTO ME


I N T E R I O R S

Lounging

around

AS ‘lockdown’ became not only a new buzzword for our

vocabulary but a way of life in 2020, it meant that we

spent a whole lot more time at home. And more time at

home means making sure our spaces are as cosy as can be.

If your living room has been multitasking as an office and

classroom for much of the past nine months, it might just

be time for a little refresh now life is getting a bit more

back to normal.

The sofa is the heart of the living room so choose wisely;

opt for something luxuriously comfortable to ensure you’re

relaxing in style, and because it’s not a piece you’ll want to

replace year in, year out it’s always best to invest in quality.

Elsewhere, small updates can make a big difference; try

switching up your soft furnishings to change your colour

scheme, or add a new lamp to two for some extra ambient

lighting - perfect for creating a cosy vibe.

VIVIAN COCKTAIL CHAIR, £149, MONKEY SIDE TABLE, £149,

AND ACCESSORIES FROM A SELECTION AT DUMELM.

WWW.DUNELM.COM

£999

DION THREE SEATER SOFA, £999,

WWW.MADE.COM

£4.50

AGRA TEALIGHT HOLDER,

HABITAT. WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK

CORDELIA GLASS AND MARBLE

TABLE LAMP, CULT FURNITURE.

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM

£10

NESTING SIDE TABLES, FROM

A SELECTION AT AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

WOVEN CUSHION IN CORAL, HABITAT.

WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK

£59

18

www.jaimemagazine.com


£659

£2300

TEDDY SOFABED IN PLUM SMART VELVET,

£2,300, WWW.SOFA.COM

FERM LIVING POUF, AMARA.

WWW.AMARA.COM

£529

£30

LEXON MINA LED LIGHT IN DARK PLUM,

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM

£1,924

WARM NORDIC CAPE LOUNGE CHAIR,

WWW.NEST.CO.UK

AUZERA ARMCHAIR IN PLUM AND BRASS,

SWOON. WWW.SWOONEDITIONS.COM

HARRIET SOFA IN BLUSH PINK, £1,050, LIVING IT UP.

WWW.LIVINGITUP.CO.UK


COPPER FALLS COLLECTION BY

PRESTIGIOUS TEXTILES, AVAILABLE FROM

INTERIOR CHOICE, LICHFIELD.

WWW.INTERIORCHOICE.NET

ABACUS SOFA AND GARY FLOOR LAMP

BY PORADA, AVAILABLE FROM CHAPLINS

FURNITURE. WWW.CHAPLINS.CO.UK

AIDA TWO-SEATER VELVET SOFA IN

AUBERGINE, £499, DFS. WWW.DFS.CO.UK

GIGI TABLE LAMP PINK, £35, JUNGLE LUXE

NAVY WALLPAPER, £12, AND ANYA LARGE

SIDEBOARD, £499, ALL DUNELM.

WWW.DUNELM.COM

SONA STORAGE COFFEE TABLE, £195,

HABITAT. WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK

20


Woodburning &

FREE no obligation multifuel design stoves service with our kitchen specialists

16 -18 Britannia Way Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield WS14 9UY • 01543 263340

info@lichfieldkitchensandbedrooms.com • www.lichfieldkitchensandbedrooms.com

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm

t he heart of t he home...

Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -

from traditional to modern

With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves

there is sure to be a style to suit you & your home

WE OF F ER

A C OMP LE T E

INST ALLA T ION

SERV ICE

Visit our showroom and be amazed by the choice! With such a wide range from traditional to modern, there’s sure to be a style to suit you!

5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ - Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk • Email: sales@thefireplacelichfield.co.uk

Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 4pm. Closed Sundays, Monday’s and bank holidays . FREE ON-SITE PARKING.


F O O D & D R I N K

Take it easy

IT MAY STILL BE MORE DIFFICULT TO EAT OUT AT THE MOMENT BUT THAT DOESN’T

MEAN YOU CAN’T ENJOY RESTAURANT QUALITY FOOD. HERE ARE SOME OF OUR

FAVOURITE PLACES TO GET A LUXURY TAKEAWAY THIS MONTH

WHAT: BREAKFAST, BRUNCH AND LUNCH

WHERE: THYME KITCHEN, LICHFIELD

From soups and sandwiches to coffees and cakes,

brunch eaterie Thyme Kitchen is offering a full

takeaway service.

If you’ve been hankering after a full English (but

not the washing up afterwards) then this is the

place for you.

We can heartily recommend their Persian eggs

(the prettiest poached eggs team J’AIME have

ever seen) and the luxury hot chocolate that is so

substantial it’s practically a meal in itself.

WHAT: A TESTING MENU PREPARED BY AN

AWARD-WINNING CHEF

WHERE: SAUCE SUPPER CLUB, DELIVERED

TO YOUR HOME

You don’t even need to step outside your front

door to enjoy amazing food created by one of the

best chefs in the Midlands (and we’re not talking

about your other half).

You can order a Sauce Supper Club menu online

and have it delivered to your doorstep. It’s as

simple as that.

The food, created by chef Tom Shepherd, is

available for home delivery from Thursday to

Sunday each week.

WHAT: DELICIOUS FRESH BAKES

WHERE: ON THE BREAD LINE, FOUR OAKS

The delicious aromas hit your nostrils long before you step into

Sebastian Clough’s independent bakery.

We’re talking seriously fragrant, freshly baked bread, cakes,

pastries and tarts - our mouths are watering just at the thought

of it.

A professionally trained baker with French pastry skills, Sebastian

has been working hard throughout both lockdowns to keep

delicious treats on tables right across the region.

22

www.jaimemagazine.com


WHAT: CAKES AND BAKES

WHERE: NOMS FROM TOM, BURNTWOOD

Established just last year as a hobby for keen

home baker Tom, Noms From Tom has quickly

turned into a full-time business.

Tom’s specials include weekly lucky dip sweet

treat boxes containing five randomly selected

slices of brownies, blondies and traybakes. The

postal boxes ‘go live’ every Sunday evening and

usually sell out quickly.

He also makes the sort of special occasion cakes

that are almost too beautiful to actually eat.

WHAT: DELI AND FRESHLY PREPARED FOOD

WHERE: POM’S KITCHEN AND DELI,

LICHFIELD

Not only can you get a take out of delicious

breakfast, brunch or lunch from Pom’s Kitchen,

you can also stock up your fridge and pantry at

the deli.

Fresh, locally sourced produce is the key here -

for both the kitchen and the deli alike.

You can pick up everything from teabags to

ketchup and from luxury dog treats to a bottle of

gin - and buy your lunch and a coffee to go at the

same time.

WHAT: TAKEAWAY MEALS, FRESH

PRODUCE AND MORE

WHERE: STRAWBERRYFIELDS FARM AND

COFFEE SHOP, BURNTWOOD

From pizzas to fish and chips to Sunday roast

baps, the good folk at Strawberryfields have

been cooking up all manner of delicious meals

for people to take away.

The beauty of this place is that you can also

pick up pretty much everything you could

need for a weekly shop at the same time.

There’s always a tempting array of fruit and

vegetables, much of which is grown on the

farm.

You’ll find something new every time you

visit, depending on what’s in season.

www.jaimemagazine.com

23


T R AV E L

Cheshire - where science meets nature

HOLIDAYS CLOSER TO HOME HAVE BECOME THE NORM IN OUR NEW COVID-19

WORLD. JENNY AMPHLETT DISCOVERS THAT YOU NEED GO NO FURTHER THAN

A COUPLE OF COUNTIES TO COMPLETELY GET AWAY FROM THINGS

The moon landings were 200,000

miles away, but there’s a strong link

just a couple of hours up the M6.

It was one small step for man and

one giant leap for mankind when

Neil Armstrong set foot on the

moon, and it’s just a handful of

junctions along the motorway to a

place with serious connections to

that momentous occasion.

On July 20, 1969 the planet’s

population looked skywards as Neil

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed

on the moon.

More than 200,000 miles away, back

on Earth, their mission was being

unofficially monitored and recorded by telescopes

close to our neck of the woods.

Jodrell Bank Observatory was keeping a close

eye on the Russian and American space race and

monitoring signals from both lunar missions.

Signals intercepted at Jodrell Bank, now a World

Heritage Site, caught the moment the astronauts

touched down on the surface.

I’ve seen endless images of the vast Lovell Telescope

but I’d never been to Jodrell Bank before.

The sheer size and scale of it takes your breath

away in person. We watched engineers who looked

like Lego Minifigures ascend in a lift and then walk

around the structure, like something from a science

fiction film.

Our knowledge of astrophysics extends little further

than watching too many episodes of The Big Bang

Theory, but you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy a

visit to the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

There are lots of interactive exhibits. My young

daughter’s imagination was

captured by rolling balls into a

black hole and sending messages

via the outdoor whispering dishes.

Admission is £8.50 for adults,

£7.50 for concessions, £6.50 for

children and free for under-4s, with

various family tickets available,

making it cheaper than a visit to the

cinema.

It’s so close to home that a visit to

Jodrell Bank combined with time

in one of the woodlands or rural

beauty spots around Cheshire

makes for a well-rounded day out

or short break, with just a short

24

www.jaimemagazine.com


drive back home afterwards.

Lyme Park, at Disley, is an ideal choice for a stroll

after a visit to Jodrell Bank.

Garden-only admission to Lyme Park is from £8 for

adults and £4 for children, with group and family

offers available.

However we headed to Tatton Park, at Knutsford,

and discovered that rather than an add-on to a

daytrip it was a day out in itself.

Our first port of call was the rare breeds farm where

we were able to pet and coo over donkeys, goats,

reindeer and freshly hatched chicks.

We watched piglets causing mayhem while mummy

pig closed her eyes in a mud bath just out of their

reach.

From the farm it was onto the mansion house, which

held my young daughter’s attention much better than

I had anticipated. Remember to ask for a trail sheet

for any little guests to fill in.

We paid a few extra pounds to ride on the old

fashioned carousel in the stableyard and to ride the

land train between the adventure playground and

farm, which both felt well worth the price.

On another visit we’d hire bikes, which are available

from around £5 per hour.

If you have the time to explore, the 50 acres of

gardens at Tatton and stunning. You’ll find yourself

constantly whipping your phone out for just another

photo.

At Tatton you can buy a discounted admission pass

for all three attractions but then use the tickets on

different days. Combined tickets are £13 for adults,

£7 for children or £33 for a family which could

potentially offer you three separate days out.

It was close enough to drive home, but instead we

headed for dinner at Cottons Hotel in Knutsford. It’s

a four star hotel that’s smart but family friendly.

Cottons has a child-friendly spa which is well worth

a visit with your little people if you’re in the area,

and not just for the mini robes with ‘V I Little P’

embroidered on the back. We spent a happy few

hours in the pool, whirlpool, sauna and steam room.

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a break.

Sometimes the perfect day out or short break might

be right on your doorstep the whole time.

For more information on the places mentioned in the

article visit:

Cheshire: Where Science Meets Nature,

www.visitcheshire.com/science-meets-nature

Cottons Hotel, 01565 650333,

www.cottonshotel.co.uk

Jodrell Bank, 01477 571766, www.jodrellbank.net

Tatton Park, 01625 374400, www.tattonpark.org.uk

Lyme, 01663 762023, www.nationaltrust.org.uk

www.jaimemagazine.com

25


T R AV E L

Cuba - Get Your Groove On!

HOLLY THOMSON LEAVES RAINY OLD BRITAIN

BEHIND TO EXPLORE VIBRANT CUBA

When choosing a destination to holiday, Cuba may

seem like an odd choice. For those fond of history,

Cuba will be well remembered for the infamous

Cuban Missile Crisis and its tumultuous history

with the USA. Those interested in politics may be

intrigued by the country’s ties to communism and a

way of life unlike our own. Others may know Cuba

for its lucrative rum and cigar trade but maybe only

a few would associate Cuba as a holiday destination.

I also had these varied assumptions of the country

before I set foot on its soil. I had learnt about

the Cuban Missile Crisis at school, its politics at

university and as a result of student life, also became

fond of the rum Cuba supplied as well!

As I boarded my flight to this secretive country,

weighed down with presumptions about what I

would encounter, I wasn’t quite prepared to be

greeted with warm hospitality, rich and vibrant

culture and a zest for life which I haven’t experienced

anywhere else.

Over the course of two weeks I travelled across

Cuba, from Havana to Trinidad, and broadened my

ideas of the world from within this small, secretive

and secluded nation.

My journey across this Caribbean island started in

Havana. I stayed in a guest house a stone’s throw

away from Old Havana and spent four days in the

capital.

The city has expanded, with the outskirts of the old

centre becoming more and more high rise, adapting

to the demands of the 21st century. Whilst this part

of the city may seem cold and lifeless, the larger and

more tempting Old Havana certainly doesn’t lack life

and warmth.

A short stroll through the market streets and squares

will reveal colourful and varied store fronts, selling

everything from original artwork to cigar cases.

Alongside these tourist shops are produce stores,

filled with the tempting colours and aroma of

tropical fruit.

26

www.jaimemagazine.com


BAYLISS

creating bathroom envy since 1929...

Visit our extensive prestigious bathroom and tile showroom....

regarded as one of the finest in the Country!

Bayliss Limited, 23 Gate Lane, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TR

T: 0121 362 1800 www.baylisslimited.co.uk

Refreshingly Different

A new door for the new decade

Visit our Stylish Showroom

11 Belwell Lane, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4AA - Tel: 0800 996 1241

Visit our fantastic website www.jmiwindows.co.uk - enquiries@jmiwindows.co.uk

Windows | Doors | Bi-Fold Doors | Garage Doors | Conservatories | Orangeries | Secondary Glazing | Window Repairs


In the rooftops and balconies above the streets sprawl

bars and restaurants, often with live bands, the

collision of these different sounds coming together to

create a vibrant celebration of life.

Amongst the expansive choice of bars that line

and atop Old Havana’s streets there are a few with

history sealed within the walls. One of these is El

Floridita, which was a favourite of the Nobel Prize

winner Ernest Hemingway. Story has it that the

famous author would finish the day with a Daiquiri

here. The atmosphere is always vibrant with

large crowds coming each day to try the famous

Hemingway Daiquiri. Although this bar does get

busy and is perhaps not best suited for your everyday

local, it is a great spot to end your day amongst the

hustle and bustle of the shopping district.

Old Havana is also home to many traditional

squares often inspired by Spanish and European

architecture. Admire the cathedrals and other

historical buildings and take the time to notice the

difference in architecture from one property to the

next. I was amazed at how one property could so

closely resemble a spanish courthouse and the next a

French villa!

Of course, one of the famous images of Cuba and

a must do whilst in Havana is to take a trip in a

classic car. Although the country is slowly beginning

to import more modern cars, the absence of widespread

trade with other countries has meant that

many parts of Cuban life have lagged behind the rest

of the world. Many cars used by locals date back to

the 1950s, as new parts are a lot easier to obtain than

a new car.

Make sure to research a fair price and

enjoy a friendly barter with the many

Havanans offering classic car tours.

On our trip our guide took us through

the streets of Old Havana as well as

along the beachfront and into the more

modern portions of the city where

history is still found. The famous Plaza

de la Revolución was our mid-way

point on our tour where you can witness

the huge steel memorials of the two

most celebrated heroes of the Cuban

Revolution, Che Guevara and Camilo

Cienfuegos.

The capital is certainly the hub of

history and nightlife in Cuba but I was

most surprised by the variety on offer

only a few hours away from the city.

Our first stop after Havana was in

Vinales, a small town nestled within a

countryside of sloping green fields and

dramatic limestone cliffs. This town

and province are most famous for their

tobacco growing and we were lucky enough to visit a

tobacco farm and learn the art of cigar rolling from

the experts themselves.

This is a popular attraction in the area and even as

someone who has no interest in smoking, the process

and craft was fascinating to learn about and watch.

My biggest take away was that nicotine is most

28

www.jaimemagazine.com


prevalent in the stem of the tobacco plant, therefore

it can be removed to create a virtually nicotine free

cigar. After watching the demonstration we were

given the opportunity to purchase cigars directly

from the farm itself which is much preferred as not

only do you get a better price, but also the benefit of

supporting a small local business.

During our evenings in Vinales we were invited to

join the locals for salsa in the square.

This entailed dressing in our best flowing

dresses and hitting the make-shift dance

floor whilst the local band played lively

Latin music. The local townsmen were

keen to show off their moves and give us

impromptu dance lessons in the process. I

was put through my paces by a local salsa

teacher who after dancing with me for

quite some time declared that I needed

more work and I should attend his dance

class the next day.

Cubans love to dance and this was clear

to see as all of the locals took to the dance

floor to show us how Salsa should really

look. I was mesmerised by their flawless

moves and impressive synchronisation

with their dance partners. I was also

impressed by the amount of rum that can

be consumed on a typical salsa evening!

Events like this are a common occurrence

around all of Cuba. Please do join in

if you stumble past a square filled with

dancing and music. I was warmed by

the local’s hospitality and enthusiasm in

introducing us to a fundamental part of

their culture.

Our final stop on our trip was Trinidad.

On the journey to this cultural heart of

the country we spent several nights in

various beach side towns where we were

treated to the warm and clear waters

of the Caribbean. Do make sure to also

make this part of your trip to Cuba, the

beach resorts are untouched and a real

getaway.

Trinidad is the cultural hub of Cuba and

for good reason. Originally home to the

sugar industry in the country, the town

has since left its industrial past behind

and embraced tourism. Due to the city

no longer being seen as a major town

for industry in the region, very few new

buildings have been erected, allowing

the charm and colours of the traditional

buildings to shine. Nowhere is this more

prevalent than in the Plaza Mayor which

is like stepping back in time.

Amongst these buildings are art museums,

restaurants and places of worship. In the evening

the stairs off to the right of the plaza come alive with

dancing and music leading to more magical salsa and

rumba nights.

In the day, walking the streets is enough to simply

soak up the culture and feel of this amazing city,

www.jaimemagazine.com

29


ut the outskirts of Trinidad are

filled with goodies too. I chose to

take a horse ride to a waterfall

nestled in the neighbouring

Escambray Mountains. On the

way, along a rocky path, we were

offered sugar cane juice and

other refreshments. When we got

to the waterfall we were able to

swim, all while surrounded by

tropical jungle - a far cry from the

colourful buildings we had left

behind only a few miles away.

Back in Trinidad we also

discovered more about the way

of life for Cubans all over the

country. Every other evening or so

I would make my way to a local

park, which was always full of

people and life. Although from

the outside this may seem idyllic, the parks are so

busy as for many they are the only source of internet.

A wifi card can be purchased from a shop on the

edge of the park and with this you will get an hour

of internet on one device. The parks were lined with

tourists and locals alike, all trying to update their

friends and social media with what they had been up

to in recent days.

With only an hour of internet, accessible only in a

park, you may be wondering how Cubans manage

to watch movies, TV shows and access other media.

The Cubans are nothing but resourceful and use

their community spirit to make sure everyone has

access to what they want or need. Although shops

are available to buy basic clothing, Cubans often opt

to shop out of their neighbours’ spare bedrooms,

trading clothes or selling items purchased on recent

trips to Mexico.

Life may seem constricted and oppressed from an

outsider’s perspective but after spending some time

on this mysterious island what was apparent to me

was how community spirit and camaraderie can

make anything possible. Cubans are proud of their

country, its industry, politics and people. They are

well educated and are not ignorant of their place in

the world. However, whilst they listen to our stories

of fast-paced lifestyles they remain content with their

lot in life.

Cuba was more than I expected, a breath of fresh

air and full of surprises. The country has attractions

aplenty and makes for a fantastic trip with a fabulous

mix of adventure and relaxation. With the country

only set to become more modernised in the future,

there is no better time to see Cuba than now or in

the near future.

To plan and book your holiday to Cuba call or

WhatsApp RB Collection on 01543 258631 or

email vip@rbcollection.com. Book before

February 28, 2021 and mention J’aime Magazine to

receive a free Cuba guide book with personal hints

and tips added in www.rbcollection.com/cuba

30

www.jaimemagazine.com


Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy

My offices are situated in the historic city of Lichfield and I have been providing personal

wealth management advice to my clients for more

than 25 years.

I specialise in the following key areas

and welcome your enquiry:

• Investment Planning

• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning

• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning

• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care

Telephone: 01543 417342

Website: www.jeanlamb.co.uk

Email: jean.lamb@sjpp.co.uk

Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH

Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority)

for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.


H E A LT H

Summer Bodies Are Made In Winter

LICHFIELD PERSONAL TRAINER RAUL ROMERO LOOKS AT

WORKING ON A LONG TERM FITNESS PLAN FOR THE NEW YEAR

Bitterly cold weather, short dark days and icy winter

mornings...all perfect excuses to stay at home in front

of a toasty fire with a hot cuppa, binge watching the

latest TV shows and filling our boots with satisfying

comfort food whilst repeating the mantra as old as

time of ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ in reference to our fitness

journey.

Or, another way of looking at it, creating and

envisaging your fitness goal, having the grit,

determination and self motivation to get up and out

especially on those dark, dreary, cold wet days, one

day at a time to make those goals a reality.

Many of our New Year’s resolutions include health

and fitness goals of all types. The start of the New

Year can be such a great opportunity to properly

plan and create a realistic fitness training plan that

suits your individual needs and lifestyle.

The key is sticking to your plan one day at a time

and keeping momentum even on those long, dark

and difficult winter nights.

As straightforward as this sounds, this is not usually

what we see in the glossy magazines. Here we often

find glamorised ‘six week beach body’ type plans that

focus on the short term, usually for those who are

looking for a last minute solution before a holiday or

special occasion. Whilst there is nothing wrong with

this, these types of regimes aren’t usually suitable for

everyone or sustainable for the long term.

There are various reasons for this:

- Our bodies need to build a solid foundation of

fitness before we push ourselves to higher levels.

Some of these short term programmes are extremely

demanding on the body and could do more damage

than good. Preparing our bodies to become stronger

and fitter is key!

- Technique! Training with the correct technique in

the execution of exercises is vital to avoid injuries.

This is something that is learnt and perfected over

32

www.jaimemagazine.com


time, which fits in perfectly with long term goals and

plans.

- If exercises are too demanding for our unprepared

bodies they aren’t usually enjoyable. Naturally

if something is not enjoyable we are going to

lose motivation a lot quicker and usually give up

altogether.

Suffice to say, there is no magic pill or diet that can

transform our bodies in the blink of an eye. Short

term extreme fitness regimes or diets may work for

a while but are almost never sustainable and it is so

easy to regress and be in an even worse fitness state

than before.

Achieving our fitness goals, just like achieving any

other goals worth having, takes planning, hard work,

dedication and time.

The key is finding a way of exercising that we truly

enjoy and that can be incorporated into our daily

lives, and a way of healthy eating that again we enjoy

and can then sustain, thus resulting in a lifestyle

change rather than a short term temporary fitness

stint. Another way of looking at it is keeping in shape

all year round, then having some ‘peak’ times in the

year where we push ourselves even more, maybe in

preparation for a special event or holiday.

In order to achieve our summer bodies we have

to start the hard work now, by planning carefully

and realistically, then maintaining motivation and

dedication and working hard, even through the

winter months.

Seeking professional guidance with the planning and

execution of fitness training and nutrition planning

is a very helpful tool which also helps add a layer of

accountability, thus making it easier not to fall off the

wagon.

I have many clients who start training with me in

January after the Christmas binge and who very

often have a holiday booked in July so want to

physically see results by then. That means there are

around 75-80 training days to make the most of

before the holiday. That is enough time to learn and

develop good technique, create strong foundations

and gradually build up the volume and intensity of

training for them to have made noticeable gains by

July.

Training in this structured way, consistently, every

week without any excuses, not only helps achieve

fitness goals but also gives a much lower chance of

developing pain or injuries.

Training with a mid to long term goal like this

eliminates any losses to fitness goals in case you have

to miss a few days of training due to illness.

Similar planning strategies can be applied to our

nutrition habits. Planning and making small, steady,

realistic changes to improve our diet and nutrition

can work hand in hand perfectly with a structured

training regime. Small changes over a period of time

really can help us achieve massive noticeable results.

That leads me on to my top tips to be

successful with your health and fitness goals

in 2021:

1) Establish a routine.

2) Start with exercises you like. Make it fun.

3) Seek expert support.

4) Join group sessions for that extra support

(if possible).

5) Be kind to yourself.

6) Try and find a training buddy.

7) Track your progress.

Happy New Year to all & happy training! If you

would like any help or advice on anything health and

fitness related please feel free to get in touch with me

at raul@ambitionpt.co.uk or via social media

(@ambitionpersonaltraininguk).

www.jaimemagazine.com

33


FA S H I O N

Bossy boots

WINTER-PROOF YOUR TOOTSIES WITH SOME OF THE HOTTEST BOOTS

STYLES AROUND. AMY NORBURY HUNTS DOWN THE BEST PICKS TO SEE

YOU THROUGH TO SPRING

AFTER the ubiquitous winter coat, boots are the biggest ticket

purchase for any fashionista’s winter wardrobe. An essential

piece of kit to combat the vagaries of the great British weather,

boots are a seasonal must-have; the go-to footwear pick until the

thermometer starts its springtime rise.

In past seasons, boots have become a style statement in

their own right; from sky high and thigh high to full-on

embellishments, there have been some seriously showy offerings

glamming up the catwalks and high streets alike.

But this winter, things are a little more pared back. Throughout

2020, fashion trends have erred towards the practical - after all,

we’ve been lounging through lockdown in our comfiest garb,

and casualwear has replaced office chic for working from home

and Zoom meetings galore.

And that ethos has carried through to footwear; from gum boots

at Christian Dior to hiking boots at Chloé, we’ve all fallen for

footwear with function at its heart.

When it comes to heels, it’s all about taking it low. Sturdy

block heels have taken over, with not a stiletto in sight, and

highly wearable ankle styles have become a firm favourite, with

chunkier biker and combat boots offering the perfect balance of

practicality and attitude.

If you’re looking at knee high or above, opt for an equestrian

vibe with either flats or a sturdy heel in classic black or tan.

For easy everyday chic, a classic Chelsea boot hits the right note,

while the ever-popular Western styles which have been top of

the wishlist for a few seasons remain a solid pick.

And while suede has been having its moment in the fashion

spotlight recently, the tide has once again turned back towards

the practicality and durability of leather. Forget dodging

downpours in your new suede numbers; this season opt for boots

that’ll have you splashing in puddles without a second thought.

PASSO BOOTS, £140, DUNE LONDON.

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM

34

www.jaimemagazine.com


£95

£120

£45

ADJUST BOOTS, OFFICE.

WWW.OFFICE.CO.UK

PAXTONE2 BOOTS, DUNE LONDON.

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM

OLIVIA BLACK ABOVE THE KNEE

BOOTS, MISS SELFRIDGE.

WWW.MISSSELFRIDGE.COM

£145

£55

PICTOR BOOTS, DUNE LONDON.

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM

PER UNA BOOTS, MARKS AND SPENCER.

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

£80

A TOUCH OF BOHO SLOUCHY

BOOTS, JOE BROWNS.

WWW.JOEBROWNS.CO.UK

£185

£92

SLOAN ANKLE BOOT, JIGSAW

AT HARVEY NICHOLS.

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM

ASSERT BUCKLED BOOTS, OFFICE.

WWW.OFFICE.CO.UK

LEIGH HYBRID HIKER BOOTS, £75,

NEWBURY HIKER BOOTS, £85, CROSBY

LINED LACE UP BOOTS, £75, AND

OTHERS FROM A SELECTION AT

FATFACE. WWW.FATFACE.COM

BIKER BOOTS, £45, GREY ANIMAL PRINT

TOP,£38, AND PU LEGGINGS, £32, ALL

WALLIS. WWW.WALLIS.CO.UK

35


W H AT ’ S O N

What’s On Local

START THE YEAR AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON BY GETTING

OUT OF THE HOUSE AND FINDING SOME FUN

WHAT: DRIVE-IN CINEMA

WHERE: SANDON HALL, SANDON, STAFFORDSHIRE

WHEN: DATES THROUGHOUT JANUARY

Drive-in entertainment was able to restart at the end of the national

lockdown, despite many indoor entertainment venues having to

remain closed. It’s seen a resurgence of drive-in cinema screenings

around the country.

The Great British Drive In, at Sandon Hall, is one of our absolute

favourites. Members of the J’AIME team have been paying

customers and heartily recommend it.

It feels very safe and you have the backdrop of a stunning stately

home behind the massive cinema screen.

There’s no need to leave your car at all but if you do you can buy

food prepared by Digbeth Dining Club.

January’s films are set to include Grease, The Greatest Showman

and Interstellar.

WHAT: PANTOMIME

WHERE: ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: JANUARY 15 TO 31

At the time of going to print, Birmingham is still set to get a good old

fashioned pantomime, Robin Hood, starring Craig Revel Horwood

from Strictly Come Dancing as The Sheriff of Nottingham.

The socially distanced, one-act show has been shortened so that

members of the audience won’t risk mingling during an interval.

The line-up is also due to include Richard Cadell and Sooty, Black

Country favourite Doreen Tipton and Matt Slack who usually

appears in panto at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Expect traditional panto fun at the end of a very untraditional year.

WHAT: CHINESE NEW YEAR

WHERE: LOCATIONS AROUND BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: JANUARY 24 TO 26

At the time of going to press Birmingham city centre was still set

to play host to elaborate celebrations to mark the Chinese New

Year.

COVID-19 may cause some plans to change, but you can still

anticipate a riot of colour in Birmingham’s Chinatown.

There’s due to be a wish tree in Grand central that visitors can

add their own wishes to.

There are also set to be stalls, street entertainers and

performances.

36

www.jaimemagazine.com


WHAT: SELF-GUIDED WALK

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: WHENEVER YOU LIKE

You can enjoy a guided heritage walk around Birmingham with

members of your bubble without even needing to interact with

another human.

Curious About has organised two different walks around the city,

both with a treasure hunt theme.

You simply need to download the guide from the website and then

get out and about at a time and day to suit you.

You can find out more by visiting the website at

www.curiousabout.co.uk/birmingham

WHAT: ART EXHIBITION

WHERE: IKON GALLERY, BRINDLEYPLACE, BIRMINGHAM

WHEN: THROUGHOUT JANUARY

Ikon Gallery’s new group show, Faster Than Ever, is an

exhibition invented out of necessity in response to the

challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Involving more than 20 artists from across the world, it is

an exercise in capitalising on chance, making the most of

incongruity and happy accidents.

Participating artists include Thomas Bewick, Julie Brook,

Alice Cattaneo, Lee Bul, Edmund Clark, Martin Creed, Kate

Groobey, Graham Gussin, Arturo Herrera, Carmen Herrera,

On Kawara, Lutz and Guggisberg, Haroon Mirza, Ivan

Morison, Nástio Mosquito, Grace Ndiritu, Cornelia Parker,

Navin Rawanchaikul, Noguchi Rika, Shimabuku, Dayanita

Singh, Bosco Sodi, Nancy Spero and Beat Streuli.

Admission is free of charge.

WHAT: LIVE MUSIC

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK

WHEN: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30

At the time of going to press live music was still set to return

to Lichfield Garrick in January, including tribute evening The

George Michael Legacy.

International tribute artiste Wayne Dilks and his band pay tribute

to the late George Michael in this show.

Wayne has been a George Michael tribute artiste for almost 20

years, dedicating his professional career to pay homage to the late

pop phenomenon.

He delivers his heartfelt tribute to the global superstar in

a sensitive and spectacular way, receiving five star reviews

nationwide.

www.jaimemagazine.com 37


LO CA L A R E A

Escape into a Garden

WHATEVER THE WEATHER, VISITING SOME GLORIOUS GARDENS WILL STILL BE

WONDERFULLY SOOTHING FOR MIND, BODY AND SOUL THIS MONTH. HERE ARE

SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES, RIGHT ON THE DOORSTEP

Shugborough, Milford, near Stafford

The gardens and parkland of this National

Trust-run property are due to be open between

9am and 4pm every day in January. Visitors are

asked to book in advance wherever possible, to

avoid disappointment on the day. Takeaway food

and drink are available and the play area is still

open.

Wightwick Manor and Gardens,

Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton

The gardens at Wightwick Manor are due to be

open to visitors every day in January, but you’ll

need to book your visit in advance. You will also

be able to buy takeaway food and drink from

the tearoom. The gardens at Wightwick were

redesigned by Thomas Mawson in 1904 and

have plenty to discover, even in the depths of

winter.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens,

Edgbaston

The glasshouses are currently closed due to

coronavirus restrictions but you can still visit the

gardens and playground. Booking in advance is

requested and you will be able to buy takeaway

food from the cafe. If you’re very lucky you may

well catch some early flowers in bloom.

Winterbourne House and Garden,

Edgbaston

The house and tearoom may be closed but the

gardens and shop remain open to visitors at

Winterbourne. People are asked to book their

visit in advance and follow the suggested route

around the garden. Winterbourne is one of the

best surviving examples of an Edwardian Arts

and Crafts suburban villa garden in the country.

38 www.jaimemagazine.com


eyond the horizon

Let’s create something to look forward to

Nothing can beat personal advice when you’re looking to put

the last few months behind you and make plans to look

forward, whether that’s a last-minute getaway or you’re

planning ahead to next year.

You will always have the support of a real person,

be it face-to-face, by video, phone or email -

whenever you need me.

Charlotte Mitchell

Travel Counsellor

0121 314 6650 or 07860 944207

charlotte.mitchell@travelcounsellors.com

www.travelcounsellors.com/charlotte.mitchell

www.facebook.com/CharlotteMitchellTC

Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years

HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS

“Fantastic

service and

great products.

Thanks Kieran”

Sam McD,

Whitaker

Heath

1/7 High Street, Erdington B23 6RG Next to Highclare School

Telephone: 0121 384 5251 - www.abbeyfirecentre.co.uk

Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed Wednesdays), Sat: 10am - 2pm

Suppliers of: Contura, Jotul, Gazco, Paragon, Scan, Town

& Country Fires, ACR Heat Products and many more

Installers and suppliers of gas fires, bespoke limestone

surrounds, and gas and woodburning stoves, since 1981.

For your safety and to observe social distancing we are

asking that you telephone or email to arrange a personal

viewing of our showroom.

abbeyfirecentre @abbeyfirecentre abbeyfirecentreltd


LO CA L A R E A

Walk this way

WHETHER IT’S AROUND THE BLOCK OR UP A HILL, WALKING HAS KEPT SO MANY OF

US GOING THROUGHOUT LOCKDOWNS AND RESTRICTIONS. HERE ARE SOME OF

OUR FAVOURITE WALKING DESTINATIONS TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE INSPIRATION

Birches Valley, Cannock Chase

Birches Valley is the perfect place for a magical

walk in the woods. There are so many different

trails to try, but we particularly love the childfriendly

walk that includes a fairy garden and

Gruffalo statue. There’s no admission fee, but

you will need to pay for parking. There’s a

brilliant free playground, and don’t forget to take

along some money for a takeaway coffee or even

an ice cream.

Downs Banks, Oulton Heath, near Stone

Take a leisurely stroll along Downs Banks brook

and you may be lucky enough to see a kingfisher

catching his lunch. On a clear day there are

brilliant views from the highest point of the

downs and you should be able to make out Mow

Cop and the Wrekin. There’s plenty of parking

at the site, but it can get busy when the weather

is good.

Kinver Edge, Kinver

You’ll find miles of waymarked footpaths at

Kinver Edge, including plenty that are suitable

for all the family. We particularly like the

woodland trail, which has natural play areas

to explore along the way. It’s quite steep in

places but the magnificent views make the effort

worthwhile. Dogs on leads are very welcome too.

Canalside stroll, a towpath near you

A walk along a canal towpath is a walk that

just keeps on giving. You’ll generally find the

paths easily accessible and you’ll see plenty of

interesting things along the way. If you’re lucky

you’ll spot some interesting barges and perhaps

be able to watch a canal lock in action. We

particularly like the stretch of the Trent and

Mersey that runs through Stone, and not just

because a walk can be combined with a trip to

the lovely town itself.

40

www.jaimemagazine.com


Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield

It’s right on our doorstep and it’s free, so make

the most of beautiful Sutton Park. A designated

national nature reserve, it’s one of the largest

urban parks in Europe. Back in the time of

Henry VIII it was a hunting forest but now

you’re more likely to spot great crested grebes.

Tittesworth Reservoir, near Leek

You’ll need to drive to visit this man-made

beauty spot, but it’s well worth the journey. You

can take a 4.5 mile trail which loops right around

the reservoir or a short 1.5 mile walk if needs

be. After all that walking you can refuel with

takeaway food and drink from the on-site cafe.

Sandwell Valley, West Bromwich

If you’re looking for a stroll that isn’t too taxing

then this RSPB nature reserve could be a good

choice for you. There are walking and cycle

routes and you’re almost guaranteed to spot

some spectacular wildlife. Depending on the

time of year you may see kingfishers, skylarks

and lapwings.

Rudyard Lake, near Leek

In decades gone

by a visit to

Rudyard Lake

was the equivalent

of a day at the

seaside for many

families, for very

good reason.

Expect spectacular

scenery and the

opportunity to go

out on a boat or

travel aboard a

miniature steam

train, restrictions

allowing. There

is plentiful on-site

parking.

Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire

It’s a bit of a drive, but the parkland

at the Chatsworth Estate is among the

most beautiful you will find anywhere

in the country. You can talk a circular

walking route around the Devonshire

family’s stately pile completely free

of charge without even stepping foot

inside the house itself.

www.jaimemagazine.com

41


P O S I T I V E T H I N K I N G

A happy and positive

2021 really is possible

JENNY AMPHLETT LOOKS ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF 2020 AND SAYS YOU SHOULD

MAKE IT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO FIND POSITIVITY IN THE YEAR AHEAD.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions.

Those dark days of January, when people are

reining in their social life or counting the cost

of the festive season, can be depressing enough

without denying yourself life’s small pleasures.

The thought of 31 days without a decent night

out might just be bearable if you allow yourself

to finish the rest of the tin of Quality Street and

that bottle of Advocaat from the back of the

cupboard. Or at least that’s the way I usually

look at it.

If you want to start a new health regime then

I reckon you should do it in the middle of

summer when the sun is shining, when it feels

less tortuous and when you actually stand a

fighting chance of sticking to it.

Instead of devising ways to get fit, lose weight

or generally make myself miserable, I tend to

spend some time at New Year looking back over

the previous 12 months and trying to remind

myself of the things I have to be thankful for.

We all have some, even if we need to hunt them

out for what has been a difficult and unusual

year for so many of us.

The list is obviously different for every one of us, but

for me it usually includes the likes of managing not to

lose any loved ones during

the past year, time spent

with close family, having

wonderful friends.

In a more normal year

my list would include

holidays, days out, theatre

and cinema visits, and

particularly memorable

meals. Most of that has

been nigh on impossible to

achieve this year, but I can

still add managing not to

kill any houseplants, books

I’ve read, work projects

42

www.jaimemagazine.com


I’ve felt proud of and things I’d been putting off but

finally got around to doing to that list.

For me it’s been a year of being brave, taking chances

and leaping into the unknown in a way I may well not

have been prepared to do had 2020 been just any old

year.

Unlike most years I can also add a serious amount

of walking to my list of happy moments, getting to

know the village I live in a bit better by pounding its

pavements each day and becoming more attuned to

nature by disappearing into the woods or across fields

whenever the opportunity presented itself.

It’s a year when I’ve picked nettles and turned

them into soup, cooked all manner of puddings

from windfall apples and photographed every wild

mushroom I’ve laid eyes on.

Every single one of us has had low points during the

past 12 months, I know that I certainly have. But look

at them in the right way and they can be reasons to

be thankful too. However tough those things may

have been, and perhaps continue to be for some of us,

we’re still here on the other side of them. And we’re

looking a shiny, hopeful new year in the face; a year in

which we may well be able to get some of our muchmissed

freedoms back.

Looking for the happy moments from the past 12

months and finding ways to have more of the same in

the coming 12 months is a much more positive way of

dealing with the New Year than picking out the things

you don’t like about yourself and deciding how to

change them.

If you’re going to make a New Year’s Resolution,

please make it to embrace all the positive things

that 2021 brings. Resolve to never take the people

in your life for granted again, to support your local

community in any way you can and to realise that

happiness really can be found in the small things.

www.jaimemagazine.com

43


I N T H E N E W S

The write stuff for author Lisa

A STAFFORDSHIRE AUTHOR HAS WON A LITERARY PRIZE FOR HER

BOOK INSPIRED BY STRONG WOMEN FROM THE COUNTY

A collection of short stories inspired by feisty

Staffordshire women has been awarded this year’s

Arnold Bennett Literary Prize.

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s, written by Lisa

Blower, was revealed as the winner in an online

ceremony.

The book had been shortlisted alongside former

Coronation Street actress Deborah McAndrew’s play

The D Road, Peter Cash’s poetry anthology Pitying

The Planet and academic John Shapcott’s Arnold

Bennett and Frederick Marriott Parallel Lives.

“I’m pleased as punch to win, chuffed to bits, in fact I

did have a little cry,” Lisa said.

“As part of the awards ceremony the shortlisted

writers each read out an extract of their work. I was

so completely mesmerised by the others that I was

convinced I wouldn’t win.

“When they said my name I was so shocked I just

literally hadn’t thought it would be me in the face of

such strong opposition.”

The 46-year-old has received a £500 prize and the

prestige of following in the footsteps of previous

winners such as Guardian culture columnist Charlotte

Higgins, who was awarded last year for Red Thread:

On Mazes and Labyrinths.

Lisa now works as a senior lecturer and course leader

in creative and professional writing at Wolverhampton

University.

After studying at Sheffield, Manchester and Bangor

universities, she began her career lecturing in creative

writing at Bangor University.

She taught the first course in working class fiction at

a UK university and has been a guest lecturer on the

topic at Staffordshire University .

Lisa’s debut novel, Sitting Ducks, was shortlisted

for the inaugural Arnold Bennett Prize in 2017 and

longlisted for The Guardian’s Not the Booker in 2016.

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s features

strong, working class women including Lisa’s own

grandmother, Nellie Edwards, who died in her 90s

after a lifetime of working as a dipper for various

potteries across Stoke-on-Trent.

Lisa said:

“After she

died I sat

down to write

the eulogy for

her funeral

and began

remembering

all the things

she used to

say to me

when I was a

child.

“She was a

witty and

outspoken

woman. If

she fell out

with a shop

steward at

work she’d walk across the road and start working for

another potbank instead.”

That funeral tribute turned into a short story which

won Lisa The Guardian National Short Story Award

in 2009, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short

Story Award in 2013 and was longlisted for The

Sunday Times Short Story Award in 2018.

It was only natural then that it should form part of a

collection of short tales featuring the likes of Ruthie

the ‘happy hooker’, sleep-deprived Laura and young

mum Roxanne.

“It’s fiction but there are some autobiographical

moments in there, like the journey my family used to

make to Barmouth during the Potters Holidays every

year.

“They’re mostly stories about women but I remember

growing up with a lot of women around me. I was

surrounded by chattering matriarchs who were always

telling stories and gossiping.

“The women of that time didn’t think they were doing

anything interesting or significant or contributing to

history, but of course they were.

44

www.jaimemagazine.com


“I remember telling my nan that I’d like to write her

life history and she said whatever for as she hadn’t

done anything. Those women were accepting rather

than expecting. They worked their whole lives, they

made armaments during the war – but they didn’t

think they’d done anything interesting.”

The title of the book is a phrase that Lisa’s nan used

to often say to her. It means that it looks like rain is on

the way.

“It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s felt like an apt

title for a collection of stories that mine the pits, pots

and poets I grew up with, where I played in the backs

behind the Leek New Road, or sat listening to my

nan’s stories and scruffy wisdom.

“We’d spend weekends walking the towpaths around

Stockton Brook before heading home to tape the

charts, a pan of lobby on the stove.

“It was a peachy childhood, despite the smog, strikes

and Thatcher gunning for the unions back in the early

80s; my mum making us all wipe our feet on a Vote

Conservative board before she put it out for the dog to

do his business on.

“The stalwart citizens of the Potteries working class

owned neither a car, passport or a mortgage but were

the vital participants in its industry. Any potter worth

their salt will flip over a plate seeking Made in Stokeon-Trent

because at least someone in their family

will have had a hand in making it. And that’s what I

wanted to capture.”

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s is published by

Myriad and priced £8.99. Lisa’s novel Pondweed will

be out in paperback in April 2021.

Music to her ears

A LICHFIELD TEENAGER HAS WON A NATIONAL COMPOSING AWARD

A Staffordshire schoolgirl has won a national

composing award and had her work broadcast to the

nation on BBC Radio 3 despite it being her very first

choral composition.

Eilidh Owen, 17, says she was surprised and excited

to pick up the Young Composer Award 2020 from the

National Centre for Early Music.

The year 13 pupil at Lichfield Cathedral School will

have her work performed at a concert at the Cadogan

Hall in March. It will then be broadcast on BBC

Radio 3’s Early Music Show.

She said: ““I was so surprised and excited when I

heard my name announced as the winner of the

NCEM Young Composers Award. This was the first

choir piece I’ve ever written and I didn’t expect to do

so well.

“I still can’t believe that Radio 3 played part of my

piece on the In Tune program and the nice comments

made by Katie Derham. I’m really looking forward

to hearing the Tallis Scholars perform my piece in

London in March.”

Her winning

composition was

based on the first and

last verses of George

Herbert’s poem The

Flower.

Dad Richard Owen

said: “It was exciting

for us to see and

hear Eilidh’s piece

performed and a

total shock when she

won. The reaction from friends and family who were

able to watch online has been incredible.

“We just want to say thank you to the NCEM for

organising the competition and for everyone who has

trained and encouraged Eilidh at Lichfield Cathedral

School and Lichfield Cathedral Choir.”

You can see and hear all the finalist’s pieces sung and

the awards being announced here:

www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2020/

www.jaimemagazine.com

45


I N T H E N E W S

Through The Cracks

A PRIZE-WINNING PAKISTANI AUTHOR HAS CHOSEN TO PUBLISH HER NEW BOOK

IN STAFFORDSHIRE. JENNY AMPHLETT FOUND OUT WHY A COUNTY IN THE

MIDDLE OF A COUNTRY 4,000 MILES AWAY WAS SO APPEALING

An award-winning Pakistani author has chosen to

publish her latest book four thousand miles away - in

Staffordshire.

Bushra Naqi, who lives in the historic city of Lahore

in the Punjab, was awarded the prestigious Patrus

Bokhari Prize by the Government of Pakistan in

honour of her literary contribution to the country.

Her latest book, Through The Cracks, has been

published by North Staffordshire Press and is being

released simultaneously in the UK and Pakistan.

Written in English rather than Urdu, it is a

collection of short stories that give an insight into

Pakistani culture and look at both traditional and

unconventional relationships.

“Pakistan is a very conservative country. Writing in

English gives me more freedom,” she said. “The

majority of people in Pakistan don’t understand or

read English. The people who do read English are not

the conservative types, so you can get away with a lot

more things when you’re writing in English.”

The 69-year-old says that living in what she calls a

traditionally conservative society encouraged her to

‘become a reactionary’ and challenge a ‘stagnant and

static’ way of life.

The book, which Bushra says is partly

autobiographical, gives snapshots into the lives of

everyone from committed spinsters to women fleeing

abusive relationships and from immigrants struggling

to fit into their new country to people engaged in

clandestine love affairs.

“There’s no state censorship in Pakistan,” she said.

“People do write whatever they want to in my country.

I wanted to publish in the UK because I thought there

would be a market for my work there too.

“I found North Staffordshire Press on the internet and

have found them very good to deal with, via emails

and video calls.”

Bushra chose the book’s title, Through The Cracks,

as each of her stories gives an insight into a different

person’s life.

“We never really see people in their wholeness, we

BUSHRA NAQI

don’t get the whole picture, there’s always something

concealed. I’m looking behind that,” she said.

Bushra studied creative writing in New York after

being introduced to classic English literature at a

very young age by her father, who had studied at

Cambridge University.

“My father told us a lot about life in England,” said

Bushra. “I was reading the English classics at a very

young age - Dickens, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the

Brontes. It helped me to develop a love for literature

and reading.

“I started writing poetry when I was 19 and had my

work published. I then found the medium of short

stories more effective to articulate my observations

about human nature.

“My stories are partly autobiographical - I had all of

these stories inside of me somewhere.”

Through The Cracks is published by North

Staffs Press priced £10. It can be ordered

from all good book sellers using the ISBN

code 978 1 8 380893 9 9.

46

www.jaimemagazine.com


OPEN

FOR NEW

RESIDENTS

WE

REMAIN

COVID

FREE

We are a trusted, local family, dedicated to providing

a truly personal service for those who need us

Burials, Horse-drawn Funerals, Bespoke

Funeral and pre-payment Funeral Plans available

The perfect ‘Home from Home’

at Rosemary Lodge in Lichfield

Rosemary Lodge Care Home for

elderly ladies and gentlemen offers a

level of care, community and comfort

that is second to none. Situated a short

way from the bustling City Centre of

Lichfield and set in landscaped gardens,

Rosemary Lodge is light, spacious and

beautifully decorated, offering residents

just the right combination of interest,

activity and relaxation. It is a place that

encourages residents to retain their

independence and individuality whilst

being fully supported to live a fulfilled

and enjoyable life.

Rosemary Lodge Care Home is a family

run concern, and has been a highlyregarded

part of the community for

almost 30 years. Offering 24 hour care,

our fully trained staff work together to

communicate with residents and ensure

personal care needs are met in a fully

person-centred approach, thus building

an important relationship of trust and

friendship.

Our two qualified chefs offer a

nutritionally balanced and varied

menu, (catering for any special dietary

requirements) using fresh, locally

sourced produce and served in a

spacious dining room that offers views

out towards the Orangery and to the

gardens and fountain. The Orangery also

creates a perfect space for residents,

family and friends to meet up, chat,

enjoy coffee and snacks and take

advantage of the sunshine, no matter

the season! The on-site hair and beauty

salon also ensures that little bit of

pampering is always available.

All rooms are en-suite, and are

designed to comfortably accommodate

individuals and couples. There is full

WiFi connectivity throughout to allow

residents the opportunity of keeping in

touch with family and friends through

video link or FaceTime.

Regular activities and entertainment

such as movement-to music, musical

theatre groups, pet therapy, pub lunches

and visits to local events are regularly

organised, but privacy and peace-andquiet

is also ensured in this beautiful

‘home from home’. Our close proximity

to Lichfield also means that shopping

trips and community activities are just

on the doorstep.

Our commitment to offering just the

right amount of care and support

has led to an excellent reputation

in the community and with the care

professionals who work with us. We

value our staff highly, and recognise that

their care and commitment are a great

part of our success.

We also offer respite care, holiday

stay and limited day care. To arrange a

visit or to learn a little bit more about

us, call Jane Evans, Registered Care

Manager or Shirley Kent Administration

Manager, please see contact details

below.

All-inclusive Funeral Packages for

Cremation with no hidden costs

Including Crematorium, Doctor and

Religious/Non-religious Celebrant

Simple - £2,300

Traditional - £2,650

(includes family car, service sheets and floral tribute)

16 - 20 North Street, Cannock, WS11 0BA

01543 529813 (Anytime)

Visit our web and Facebook sites to see our reviews

www.omalleyfunerals.co.uk • www.facebook.com/omalleyfunerals

CQC RATING GOOD

Rosemary Lodge Residential Home

191 Walsall Road, Lichfield. Staffs.

WS13 8AQ.

For more information please contact

Jane Evans (Registered Care Manager) or

Shirley Kent (Administration Manager).

01543 415223 - Email: roselodgehome@aol.com

www.rosemarylodgecarehome.co.uk


CO M P E T I T I O N

Win £100 of soft furnishings

WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH LICHFIELD-BASED INTERIOR CHOICE

TO GIVE AWAY A £100 VOUCHER TO SPEND IN STORE

With more than 35 years of soft furnishings

experience and two-and-a-half years of running a

family business, opening a Lichfield showroom was a

natural next step for Interior Choice.

The first floor showroom above Sure Storage in

Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, stocks all the leading fabric

and blind brands as well as offering a design and fit

service if required.

Customers can choose from more than 6,000 options

across curtains, blinds and wallpapers with tracks,

poles, awning and automated blinds also available.

Interior Choice aims to have the largest selection in

the area and to compete with internet prices.

Key brands include Romo, Voyage and Prestigious

Textiles plus ILiv, Bill Beaumont, Curtain Express,

Villa Nova, Luxaflex, Silent Gliss and ILiv Contract

collections.

All budgets are catered for, from entry-level express

curtain and roman blinds to machine-sewn and

bespoke hand-sewn products.

Everything comes with a three year warranty, subject

to fair usage rules, with a five year warranty on certain

Luxaflex lines. All blinds are fitted with child safety

devices as standard.

If you’ve just moved into a new home or need your

new purchases quickly then an express service means

that some blinds and curtains can be delivered and

fitted within seven to 10 days.

And if you’re looking for blinds or curtains for a

commercial premises then Interior Choice even has

ranges designed specifically with your needs in mind

which carry commercial grade specification.

Visits to the 512sq ft showroom are currently by

appointment only, which means that you can browse

the collections with peace of mind.

There is a seven day no-obligation booked

appointment system in place. When you arrive you

can park free of charge and will have exclusive, no

obligation to purchase use of the showroom for

up to two hours. No other customers will enter the

showroom during your slot and refreshments will be

available.

During the friendly and personal consultation you

will get to see lots of samples and will have all of the

options explained to you so that you can choose the

right option for your family and your home.

NHS track and trace systems are in place and plentiful

free hand sanitiser is available.

Late night appointments are available to fit in around

busy work and life schedules.

Interior Choice is a family-owned and family-run

local business with a reputation that is growing daily.

They have become a five star rated Best of Lichfield

approved supplier. If you’re looking for new soft

furnishings then they could be the right choice for you.

Interior Choice’s January sale starts on January 4, with

25% off selected ranges.

Interior Choice, 1st Floor, Sure Store, Eastern Avenue,

Lichfield, WS13 6UY, 01543 406162

www.interiorchoice.net

COMPETITION

WIN A £100 VOUCHER TO SPEND IN-STORE AT INTERIOR CHOICE.

FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN, SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

WHICH THREE KEY BRANDS DO INTERIOR CHOICE STOCK?

Send your answer along with your name, address and telephone number via email to competitions@jaimemagazine.com with Interior Choice competition in the

email subject box. Entries must be received by midday on Friday, January 29. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jainemagazine.com for further details.

48

www.jaimemagazine.com


I N T H E N E W S

Kick-start your weight loss

A BALLOON PILL AND A GLASS OF WATER COULD BE THE

ANSWER IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO LOSE WEIGHT THIS YEAR

A slimming ‘balloon pill’ that can be taken with a

glass of water has been introduced to Spire Little

Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

The Elipse ‘balloon pill’, developed by Allurion,

works by filling the stomach and making the patient

feel full more quickly and so enables them to cut back

on the amount they eat.

Unlike the gastric band, sleeve or bypass there is

no need for surgery, a general anaesthetic or an

overnight stay in hospital.

Instead a small capsule that contains the balloon

is attached to a thin tube and swallowed. Once it

reaches the stomach an X-ray is taken to check it is

in the correct position before the balloon is released

and filled with up to 550ml of saline.

Designed to deflate after four months before passing

naturally through the body, the Elipse is aimed at

people with a BMI of 27 or above in order to help

them kick-start their dieting regime.

The procedure is overseen by Consultant General

Surgeon Mr Amir Khan who explained: “It isn’t a

miracle pill, it still needs the patient to eat less and

choose their foods more wisely, but it is a great aid to

those who are serious about weight loss.

“The balloon will reduce the hunger pangs but the

patient still has to show willpower and determination

in order to get the very best results from the process.

It may be that the patient is advised to stick to a

liquid diet for a couple of days after taking the pill

but they will then be able to move onto solid foods.

“What is really important is that they use the feeling

of fullness provided by the balloon to help them

change their eating habits. Smaller portions and

healthier options really are the key to success.”

Patients lose an average of 10 to 15kgs (1.57 to 2.36

stone) in 16 weeks by using the balloon.

Mr Khan is offering free virtual mini consultations

on Thursday, February 4 between 4pm and 6pm.

Call 0121 514 7034 for more information or to

make an appointment.

www.jaimemagazine.com 49


B E AU T Y

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

KICK-START 2021 WITH A RESOLUTION TO GIVE YOUR SKIN A MUCH-NEEDED NEW

YEAR BOOST. WE TALK TO ROYAL FACIALIST AND FOUNDER OF HEAVEN SKINCARE

DEBORAH MITCHELL ABOUT HER LATEST RANGE DESIGNED TO TACKLE SKINCARE

WOES FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Renowned around the world for her

Heaven Skincare saviours, Deborah

Mitchell has been treating countless

famous faces for more than 30 years.

From Tess Daley and Dannii Minogue

to the Duchess of Cornwall, her client

list reads like the ultimate who’s who.

Her sought-after products are sold in

some of the most famous hotels and

spas from New York to Dubai, and

she recently appeared in the Netflix

documentary Un(well) showing how

she makes her renowned Bee Venom

Masks.

Now the celebrity facialist has

unveiled her latest line of defence

for anti-ageing – a range of seven

supplements that work in tandem

with her bestselling skincare essentials.

Each of the carefully selected vitamins

and minerals are designed to tackle a

whole host of complexion issues, from

hair and nail strength to protection

from free radicals.

“In all of the 30 years I have spent

healing and treating anti-ageing from

the outside, I realised through my

extensive research that many of the

skin problems we suffer from are often

caused by what is going on inside our

bodies,” explains Deborah.

“By learning how to match the needs

of the skin on the outside to the needs

of the skin from the inside I discovered I can quickly

treat complexion issues and at the same time provide

much-needed health benefits too.

“As an example, if a client comes to see me because

they suffer from eczema, I know it can often be

blamed on a dairy intolerance or deficient vitamin

absorption on the inside and an overgrowth of

microbes on the outside.

“Now, with the launch of my new supplements range

I can recommend the correct combination for their

skin: my new Inner Nettle Shoots combined with my

Hydro Cleansing Milk and Nettle Venom Cream; or

my Inner Bee-ing and Silver Bee Venom Mask.

“Because these contain the natural amino acids and

vitamins needed to help ease their eczema from the

inside, they will keep their skin in great condition on

the outside too.”

Heaven’s new Inner Beauty supplements are priced

at £37 each and are available online at

heavenskincare.com and from selected Heaven

salons.

50 www.jaimemagazine.com


Probate and formal valuations

for inheritance tax purposes

Our reliable and sympathetic

team can assist all executors in the

administration of deceased estates

From jewellery and large collections

to cars, furniture and household

items, we handle everything

FREE

jewellery, watch

and silver valuations

by appointment only

Thursdays 9.30am-4pm

at The Lichfield

Auction Centre

Comprehensive, bespoke

clearance service and

downsizing solutions

We handle clearance of an entire

estate from houses, bungalows and

flats to offices and all other buildings

We specialise in:

Antique and modern jewellery

Watches

Gemstones

Silverware

Coins, medals and militaria

Works of art

Whisky and wine

Vintage toys

Stamps and ephemera

Cameras and record collections

Scientific equipment

Antique and modern furniture

Record-breaking

international sales

More than 3,800 bidders from

all over the world joined our

online auctions last month

Online services available

Virtual estimates, online auctions

and contactless collections.

Valuations and viewing by

appointment only

Qualified

All members of our jewellery

department are certified

gemmologists and diamond graders

Established – Professional – Transparent

The Winterton family name has been synonymous

with auctioneering in Staffordshire since 1864

01543 251081

www.richardwinterton.co.uk

richardwinterton@richardwinterton.co.uk

The Lichfield

Auction Centre,

Wood End Lane,

Fradley Park

WS13 8NF

NAJ A4 ad_Jan_2021.indd 1 07/12/2020 16:27

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines