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J'AIME January 2021

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J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1<br />

J’AIME<br />

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<br />

Bossy<br />

Boots:<br />

LOUNGING AROUND -<br />

KEY UPDATES FOR YOUR<br />

LIVING SPACE<br />

YOUR JANUARY<br />

FOOTWEAR SORTED<br />

Win<br />

£100 of soft<br />

furnishings<br />

SUITS YOU, SIR:<br />

MEET BIRMINGHAM’S<br />

CRAFTSMAN TAILOR


FOR ALL ASPECTS OF FAMILY LAW<br />

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HELPING CLIENTS THROUGH THE<br />

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Reducing uncertainty and concerns around finances,<br />

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Reducing the stress involved<br />

Meet your friendly<br />

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Associate Solicitor –<br />

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JANE WILL SUPPORT YOU TO:<br />

l Envision a clear solution and enjoy peace of mind<br />

l Move on and enjoy a fresh start<br />

l Stop worrying about finances and start<br />

planning a new life<br />

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

SAME-DAY RESPONSE<br />

To ensure you receive<br />

an excellent client<br />

and legal service.<br />

HELPING THE LOCAL<br />

NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY<br />

We’re here if you<br />

need to drop in.<br />

WE WORK WITH YOU<br />

A dedicated family<br />

law solicitor will<br />

personally guide you<br />

through the process.<br />

YOU COME FIRST<br />

Find our hundreds<br />

of 5 star Google<br />

reviews online.<br />

THE<br />

DAVISONS<br />

DIFFERENCE<br />

Our pledges to you.<br />

KEEP YOU UP-TO-DATE<br />

We will keep you<br />

right up-to-date<br />

with our exclusive<br />

case tracking system.<br />

TRIPLE-ACCREDITED<br />

We are triple-accredited, under<br />

Lexcel, Quality Conveyancing<br />

Scheme and a member of<br />

the Conveyancing Association.<br />

0121 756 3513 sutton@qsdavisons.com<br />

www.qualitysolicitors.com/davisons<br />

254 Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2UH<br />

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<br />

Here at J’AIME we’re very excited to be starting a<br />

shiny new year with all the possibilities that brings.<br />

We’re hopeful that life will gradually start to return to<br />

normal this year and that we’ll get some of our muchmissed<br />

freedoms back. Oh for days when we can go<br />

out for dinner with a group of friends, catch a film,<br />

sit in the audience of a brilliant show at the theatre<br />

or even just hug the people we love. Those days will<br />

come.<br />

<strong>2021</strong> brings exciting developments for J’AIME. You’ll<br />

see the address of our website across the bottom of<br />

each page in this magazine and that’s because we’ve<br />

given www.jaimemagazine.com a wonderful<br />

revamp. You can now visit the website to read<br />

everything you see in the magazine plus much, much<br />

more. The website will be updated each day and will<br />

include positive, uplifting lifestyle articles from right<br />

across the Midlands.<br />

As well as being delivered to homes in selected<br />

postcodes J’AIME is now available to pick up free of<br />

charge in major supermarkets around the Midlands.<br />

You can also read a digital version of the magazine<br />

free of charge at read.jaimemagazine.com<br />

Within the <strong>January</strong> magazine you can enter a<br />

competition to win £100 of soft furnishings, read<br />

about Birmingham’s craftsman bespoke tailor and find<br />

out about the best walking spots in the region.<br />

Add to that our usual mix of interiors, property,<br />

fashion, beauty, travel, fitness, what’s on and food and<br />

we hope we have something for everyone.<br />

At the time of going to press we have no idea of when<br />

coronavirus restrictions will ease in the region. We<br />

hope our upbeat, positive content will bring a little<br />

positivity to your life.<br />

Please don’t forget to support your local independent<br />

businesses. When you buy from a small business you’re<br />

supporting your community and helping to keep<br />

people in jobs.<br />

From everyone at J’AIME, may we wish you a very<br />

happy new year. We’re looking forward to sharing<br />

<strong>2021</strong> with you.<br />

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY<br />

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY<br />

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

07388 335 931<br />

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

CONTRIBUTORS: JENNY AMPHLETT, HOLLY<br />

THOMSON, RAUL ROMERO, DEBORAH MITCHELL<br />

J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY<br />

PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED BY KEP<br />

LIMITED, TAMWORTH.<br />

Check us out online at:<br />

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

Find us on<br />

/JAIMEMAGAZINE<br />

@JAIMEMAGAZINE<br />

@JAIMEMAGAZINE<br />

SPONSORED BY<br />

3


CONTENTS<br />

InsideJ’aime this month...<br />

6 Suits you, sir - Meet Birmingham’s craftsman<br />

bespoke tailor<br />

12 Property - Prepare to be stunned by our<br />

property of the month<br />

14 Interiors - Embrace the colour teal<br />

18 Interiors - Give your lounge a new year update<br />

22 Food and drink - Take it easy with a restaurantquality<br />

takeaway<br />

24 Travel - Why a holiday close to home could be<br />

just the ticket<br />

26 Travel - Get your groove on in Cuba<br />

32 Fitness - Why you should be setting your<br />

summer fitness goals now<br />

34 Fashion - New year, new boots<br />

36 What’s on - Great ideas for the month ahead<br />

38 What’s on - Four beautiful gardens to visit<br />

this month<br />

40 What’s on - Our guide to some of the best<br />

walking spots in the region<br />

42 Positive thinking - Why <strong>2021</strong> really can be your<br />

year<br />

44 In the news - Meet the writer and the schoolgirl<br />

who are both winning at life<br />

46 In the news - Meet the award-winning Pakistani<br />

author who chose to publish her book 4,000<br />

miles away, in Staffordshire<br />

48 Competition - Win £100 of soft furnishings<br />

49 Health - The little pill that could kickstart your<br />

weight loss regime<br />

50 Beauty - Why great-looking skin starts from the<br />

inside<br />

SPONSORED BY<br />

4


Shine a light on <strong>2021</strong><br />

12-months<br />

mortgage<br />

paid!<br />

Discover a new space and a new you...<br />

Is it time for a reboot? Maybe you need more space or maybe you now<br />

need less room. Whatever your reasons we’ve got homes that suit<br />

everyone. From stylish open plan living for the whole family to study and<br />

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

For more information<br />

please call:<br />

01785 788 312<br />

or search:<br />

Bovis Homes Mercia<br />

We have 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes from £199,995<br />

Appointment visits and virtual tours available!<br />

Don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable to visit us just yet,<br />

you can still talk to us over the phone or via a virtual call.<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

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


F E AT U R E<br />

Suits you, sir<br />

MARK PURCELL IS BIRMINGHAM’S LAST REMAINING APPRENTICE-TRAINED<br />

BESPOKE TAILOR. JENNY AMPHLETT WENT TO MEET HIM<br />

A three piece suit handmade by Mark<br />

Purcell using British woven wool is<br />

likely to set you back around £2,800<br />

and take at least three months to be<br />

made - yet he has people queuing up<br />

for them.<br />

The 52-year-old, who works out of a<br />

converted garage at his Handsworth<br />

Wood Home, has made suits for<br />

everyone from pop stars to wealthy<br />

businessmen. He makes plus fours for<br />

the landed gentry and has even made<br />

frock coats for an ancient order of<br />

woodsmen, including leather pouches<br />

to hold their arrows.<br />

His USP is that he’s a true craftsman<br />

in an automated age - doing<br />

everything from measuring to design<br />

concept and from pattern cutting<br />

to sewing personally, often using<br />

traditional methods.<br />

“A lot of people call themselves a<br />

tailor and a lot of people use the work<br />

bespoke, but there aren’t many people<br />

around who are doing what I do,” he<br />

said.<br />

“I’m the only remaining<br />

apprentice-trained bespoke tailor in<br />

Birmingham. I like to think of myself<br />

as a true craftsman, a true tailor.<br />

“I’m first and foremost a coat maker,<br />

although I can do every other part of<br />

what it takes to make a three piece<br />

suit.”<br />

Mark didn’t actually start his tailoring<br />

apprenticeship until the age of 27,<br />

after first training to be an engineer.<br />

It may seem an odd transition, but he<br />

says there are definitely transferable<br />

skills between the seemingly very<br />

different worlds of work.<br />

6 www.jaimemagazine.com


“I spent four years working in a factory, training<br />

to be an engineer and initially thinking that was<br />

what I wanted to do with my life. It was only<br />

later, when my love for tailoring developed, that I<br />

realised that was where my passions really lay.”<br />

Mark was house sharing with friends who were<br />

in a band during his engineering years and found<br />

himself hankering after a taste of their creative<br />

lifestyle.<br />

“I thought it looked like they were having<br />

an awful lot more fun than me. I’d always<br />

wanted to be a craftsman. I decided to pack<br />

in the engineering, do some travelling with my<br />

friends’ band and then look at finding a career<br />

afterwards.<br />

“So I basically did an engineering apprenticeship<br />

then ran away with the circus. When I wasn’t<br />

driving them to gigs I was learning to sew at<br />

night school and making shirts and suits.”<br />

Mark was making clothes for himself and his<br />

friends, sometimes the more flamboyant the<br />

better, and getting involved in the local music<br />

scene.<br />

“A chain of events led to me working with<br />

fashion designer Patti Bell, of the fashion label<br />

and boutique Kahn and Bell opposite the<br />

Hippodrome in Birmingham.”<br />

Patti Bell was at the forefront of New<br />

Romantic fashion and made outfits for many<br />

of the best known pop bands of the day.<br />

“She could call Boy George and the<br />

members of Duran Duran her personal<br />

friends. She was Birmingham’s answer to<br />

Vivienne Westwood. It was very exciting for<br />

me to be a part of that.”<br />

Mark is himself a good friend of Pete<br />

Williams, the bass player from 80s band<br />

Dexys Midnight Runners, and made suits for<br />

a series of shows the band performed at the<br />

Duke of York Theatre in London.<br />

“Pete put in a request for a suit and I<br />

knocked it up for him as quickly as possible.”<br />

He’s also made suits for a member of punk<br />

rock band The Ruts.<br />

Mark set up on his own as Mark Purcell<br />

Bespoke Tailoring in 2013, aiming to use his<br />

experience working for Patti Bell and other<br />

later employers to offer a unique service as a<br />

complete craftsman tailor.<br />

“I just wanted to be a craftsman. I didn’t<br />

want to work in retail or to buy in then sell<br />

ready-to-wear items. I just wanted to use my<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

7


skills to make coats, suits and other items for<br />

people to invest in and wear for many years.”<br />

As well as working directly for individual<br />

customers he has, over the years, made very<br />

special coats for a luxury brand in the south of<br />

England that supplies none other than Captain<br />

Tom with his coats.<br />

It generally takes Mark at least three months<br />

to make each item, which includes fittings,<br />

pattern cutting and stitching the garment.<br />

A three piece suit made with British woven<br />

wool costs in the region of £2,800, although<br />

Mark says people are less inclined to order<br />

business suits at the moment and more likely<br />

to be looking for bespoke countrywear.<br />

“People aren’t in the office and they aren’t<br />

wearing a suit to work from home, so instead<br />

they’re investing in clothes for outdoor<br />

pursuits.<br />

“At the moment I’m making a naval peacoat<br />

for a gentleman. It’s one key item that<br />

he’s going to be wearing for many years to<br />

come and probably handing down to future<br />

generations.<br />

“It isn’t cheap to have it made but it isn’t until<br />

he’s owned it for 20 years and looks back that<br />

he’ll realise that it’s been a cheap garment<br />

because he’s had so much use out of it.<br />

“A ready-to-wear coat might last you for three<br />

years before the cloth starts to go thin and you<br />

get rid of it. Where’s the economy in that?”<br />

Mark says his customers are drawn from<br />

all walks of life: businesspeople, pop stars,<br />

enthusiasts for a particular era of fashion.<br />

He says they can often be categorised as either<br />

connoisseurs or people with an unusual figure<br />

who buy items to fit them off the peg.<br />

He even has one client who was bitten on the<br />

arm by a shark and needs clothes created to fit<br />

accordingly.<br />

Perhaps because of his interest in the music<br />

scene Mark says his own preference is for<br />

flamboyant clothes, but that he always tries to<br />

gauge what might work best for the customer<br />

rather than himself.<br />

“If you have flamboyant tastes then go for a<br />

suit with a flamboyant lining, but if you don’t<br />

then you should avoid that because it’ll start to<br />

annoy you and you won’t want to wear it.<br />

“People are very critical of what they see. If<br />

someone walks into a room wearing clothes<br />

that don’t fit very well then we critique them,<br />

8<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


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it’s a natural instinct.<br />

“But if someone walks into a room in perfectly fitting<br />

clothes then it almost gives them an air of mystery,<br />

we don’t immediately feel that we know something<br />

about them.”<br />

Mark mostly creates menswear but he does make<br />

clothes for women too, such as tailored country<br />

pursuits jackets.<br />

He still makes clothes for himself when he has time,<br />

and tries to make sure he treats himself to at least<br />

one Mark Purcell Bespoke Tailoring item each year.<br />

“It reminds me of the days when I used to go to the<br />

fancy silk stall and buy fabric to make a shirt I knew<br />

nobody else would be wearing when I went out.<br />

“Most recently I’ve made myself a nice tweed<br />

bomber jacket. It’s good to be able to show these<br />

things to customers to give them ideas for the sorts of<br />

things they could have made too.”<br />

A far cry from 80s pop bands, Mark says his biggest<br />

style icon was The Duke of Windsor.<br />

“I admired him sartorially. The way he matched his<br />

clothes together was fabulous. When his possessions<br />

were sold off a catalogue was put together, and the<br />

suits were just fantastic. The colours and designs<br />

were fabulous. Such an inspiration.”<br />

Mark Purcell Bespoke Tailoring,<br />

https://markpurcell.co.uk, 07890 003523<br />

10 www.jaimemagazine.com


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P R O P E RTY<br />

Property of the Month<br />

EACH MONTH WE SHOWCASE ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS PROPERTIES<br />

CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET IN THE MIDLANDS. THIS HOUSE HAS TO BE ONE<br />

OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR YOU WILL SEE ALL YEAR.<br />

Wall House, Green Lane, Wall, near Lichfield. Guide price: £4.25 million.<br />

On the market with Aston Knowles: 0121 362 7878<br />

THE AGENT SAYS: Wall House, located in the historic<br />

Hamlet of Wall on the outskirts of Lichfield, is a residence<br />

that’s steeped in history and charm. It offers a rare<br />

opportunity to escape the city and acquire an enviably<br />

located country pile.<br />

The remarkable eight-bedroom, Grade II listed Georgian<br />

property is reported to have been built on the site of a<br />

sixteenth century residence and still contains part of the<br />

structure as well as some of the panelling from the earlier<br />

house.<br />

Wall House stands in beautiful formal gardens with more<br />

than four acres of grounds and commanding views over the<br />

Staffordshire countryside.<br />

Over a century later, Wall House still retains many of its<br />

exquisite original features and has been sympathetically<br />

enlarged and luxuriously appointed by the current owners,<br />

who have also obtained planning permission for a singlestorey<br />

structure of circa 1900 sq. feet in the secret garden,<br />

next to the walled garden. The extension is planned to house<br />

a state-of-the-art leisure complex with swimming pool or<br />

alternatively could be used as a contemporary guest annexe<br />

to the main house.<br />

Wall House really is the perfect home for the discerning buyer<br />

and there is truly very little to rival it as a prime example<br />

of authenticity existing comfortably within the luxurious<br />

modern world.<br />

W E L O V E :<br />

THE MIX OF HISTORIC CHARACTER<br />

FEATURES AND MODERN COMFORTS.<br />

12<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY BESPOKE KITCHENS<br />

BROADWAY KITCHENS<br />

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Family Business Est. 1974<br />

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WE HAVE MOVED TO A NEW LARGER SHOWROOM<br />

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128-138 www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com<br />

Hardwick Rd, Sutton Coldfield B74 3DP<br />

www.bespokekitchensbybroadway.com<br />

Tel: 0121 353 4999<br />

www.kitchensbybroadway.co.uk


I N T E R I O R S<br />

Ocean<br />

hues<br />

AS we head into a brand new year after the<br />

unprecedented chaos that has been 2020, it’s time to take<br />

a moment to reflect and reset. And it’s only natural that we<br />

want our spaces to mirror that need for contemplation and<br />

renewal.<br />

Paint specialists Benjamin Moore have encompassed just<br />

that in their Colour of the Year for <strong>2021</strong> - Aegean Teal.<br />

Intriguing, balanced, and deeply soothing, Aegean Teal<br />

creates natural harmony.<br />

“This year’s Colour of the Year is a balanced and<br />

soothing blue-green hue, softened with a touch of grey to<br />

create spaces with a casual elegance.” says Helen Shaw,<br />

marketing director at Benjamin Moore UK.<br />

This ocean-inspired shade works well in a multitude of<br />

settings, bringing joy to all interior spaces. Adding a fresh,<br />

crisp feel to a decor scheme, it also creates a relaxed and<br />

soothing atmosphere - exactly what we need in the current<br />

challenging climate.<br />

TEAL VELVET THROW, £220, THE FRENCH BEDROOM CO.<br />

WWW.FRENCHBEDROOMCOMPANY.CO.UK<br />

CHEVRON THROW, SHIMU.<br />

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£45<br />

£119<br />

PORTO LINEN LAMPSHADE,<br />

WWW.MADE.COM<br />

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CARNABY FOOTSTOOL IN TEAL VELVET,<br />

ATKIN AND THYME.<br />

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ARPEN DESK IN TEAL AND BRASS,<br />

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14<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


£67 £135 £779<br />

VILLA NOVA SAMI CUSHION, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.<br />

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BROSTE COPENHAGEN AIR LOUNGE CHAIR,<br />

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PINEAPPLE GLASS FLOOR LAMP<br />

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TEAL AND GREEN GLASS MARBLE EFFECT<br />

LAMP, NEEDWOOD LIVING, ALREWAS.<br />

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£495<br />

£449<br />

£125<br />

EICHHOLTZ SET OF TWO COOPER DINING<br />

CHAIRS, SWEETPEA & WILLOW.<br />

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TANDY DRESSING TABLE,<br />

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FINCHLEY TWO SEATER SOFA, £699,<br />

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SUBMARINE BLUE HERITAGE LOUNGE DESIGN<br />

BY NAOMI STARR AT NAOMI STARR DESIGN.<br />

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BENJAMIN MOORE COLOUR OF THE YEAR<br />

<strong>2021</strong> AEGEAN TEAL, FROM £24 FOR 0.94L.<br />

WWW.BENJAMINMOOREPAINT.CO.UK<br />

ACHILLES TEAL MIX FISH SCALE TILES,<br />

£39.95 PER SQM, WALLS AND FLOORS.<br />

WWW.WALLSANDFLOORS.CO.UK<br />

THE REBEL THREE SEATER SOFA IN<br />

A BOX IN TEAL, £899, SNUG SHACK.<br />

WWW.SNUGSHACK.CO.UK<br />

LEO LIGHT TEAL KING SIZE BED, £549,<br />

DANETTI. WWW.DANETTI.COM<br />

DULWICH MMIDI SOFA, £1,218, DARLINGS OF CHELSEA.<br />

WWW.DARLINGSOFCHELSEA.CO.UK


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PHOTO ME


I N T E R I O R S<br />

Lounging<br />

around<br />

AS ‘lockdown’ became not only a new buzzword for our<br />

vocabulary but a way of life in 2020, it meant that we<br />

spent a whole lot more time at home. And more time at<br />

home means making sure our spaces are as cosy as can be.<br />

If your living room has been multitasking as an office and<br />

classroom for much of the past nine months, it might just<br />

be time for a little refresh now life is getting a bit more<br />

back to normal.<br />

The sofa is the heart of the living room so choose wisely;<br />

opt for something luxuriously comfortable to ensure you’re<br />

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

replace year in, year out it’s always best to invest in quality.<br />

Elsewhere, small updates can make a big difference; try<br />

switching up your soft furnishings to change your colour<br />

scheme, or add a new lamp to two for some extra ambient<br />

lighting - perfect for creating a cosy vibe.<br />

VIVIAN COCKTAIL CHAIR, £149, MONKEY SIDE TABLE, £149,<br />

AND ACCESSORIES FROM A SELECTION AT DUMELM.<br />

WWW.DUNELM.COM<br />

£999<br />

DION THREE SEATER SOFA, £999,<br />

WWW.MADE.COM<br />

£4.50<br />

AGRA TEALIGHT HOLDER,<br />

HABITAT. WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK<br />

CORDELIA GLASS AND MARBLE<br />

TABLE LAMP, CULT FURNITURE.<br />

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM<br />

£10<br />

NESTING SIDE TABLES, FROM<br />

A SELECTION AT AMARA.<br />

WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

WOVEN CUSHION IN CORAL, HABITAT.<br />

WWW.HABITAT.CO.UK<br />

£59<br />

18<br />

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£659<br />

£2300<br />

TEDDY SOFABED IN PLUM SMART VELVET,<br />

£2,300, WWW.SOFA.COM<br />

FERM LIVING POUF, AMARA.<br />

WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

£529<br />

£30<br />

LEXON MINA LED LIGHT IN DARK PLUM,<br />

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

£1,924<br />

WARM NORDIC CAPE LOUNGE CHAIR,<br />

WWW.NEST.CO.UK<br />

AUZERA ARMCHAIR IN PLUM AND BRASS,<br />

SWOON. WWW.SWOONEDITIONS.COM<br />

HARRIET SOFA IN BLUSH PINK, £1,050, LIVING IT UP.<br />

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FURNITURE. WWW.CHAPLINS.CO.UK<br />

AIDA TWO-SEATER VELVET SOFA IN<br />

AUBERGINE, £499, DFS. WWW.DFS.CO.UK<br />

GIGI TABLE LAMP PINK, £35, JUNGLE LUXE<br />

NAVY WALLPAPER, £12, AND ANYA LARGE<br />

SIDEBOARD, £499, ALL DUNELM.<br />

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SONA STORAGE COFFEE TABLE, £195,<br />

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20


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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<br />

Take it easy<br />

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

MEAN YOU CAN’T ENJOY RESTAURANT QUALITY FOOD. HERE ARE SOME OF OUR<br />

FAVOURITE PLACES TO GET A LUXURY TAKEAWAY THIS MONTH<br />

WHAT: BREAKFAST, BRUNCH AND LUNCH<br />

WHERE: THYME KITCHEN, LICHFIELD<br />

From soups and sandwiches to coffees and cakes,<br />

brunch eaterie Thyme Kitchen is offering a full<br />

takeaway service.<br />

If you’ve been hankering after a full English (but<br />

not the washing up afterwards) then this is the<br />

place for you.<br />

We can heartily recommend their Persian eggs<br />

(the prettiest poached eggs team J’AIME have<br />

ever seen) and the luxury hot chocolate that is so<br />

substantial it’s practically a meal in itself.<br />

WHAT: A TESTING MENU PREPARED BY AN<br />

AWARD-WINNING CHEF<br />

WHERE: SAUCE SUPPER CLUB, DELIVERED<br />

TO YOUR HOME<br />

You don’t even need to step outside your front<br />

door to enjoy amazing food created by one of the<br />

best chefs in the Midlands (and we’re not talking<br />

about your other half).<br />

You can order a Sauce Supper Club menu online<br />

and have it delivered to your doorstep. It’s as<br />

simple as that.<br />

The food, created by chef Tom Shepherd, is<br />

available for home delivery from Thursday to<br />

Sunday each week.<br />

WHAT: DELICIOUS FRESH BAKES<br />

WHERE: ON THE BREAD LINE, FOUR OAKS<br />

The delicious aromas hit your nostrils long before you step into<br />

Sebastian Clough’s independent bakery.<br />

We’re talking seriously fragrant, freshly baked bread, cakes,<br />

pastries and tarts - our mouths are watering just at the thought<br />

of it.<br />

A professionally trained baker with French pastry skills, Sebastian<br />

has been working hard throughout both lockdowns to keep<br />

delicious treats on tables right across the region.<br />

22<br />

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WHAT: CAKES AND BAKES<br />

WHERE: NOMS FROM TOM, BURNTWOOD<br />

Established just last year as a hobby for keen<br />

home baker Tom, Noms From Tom has quickly<br />

turned into a full-time business.<br />

Tom’s specials include weekly lucky dip sweet<br />

treat boxes containing five randomly selected<br />

slices of brownies, blondies and traybakes. The<br />

postal boxes ‘go live’ every Sunday evening and<br />

usually sell out quickly.<br />

He also makes the sort of special occasion cakes<br />

that are almost too beautiful to actually eat.<br />

WHAT: DELI AND FRESHLY PREPARED FOOD<br />

WHERE: POM’S KITCHEN AND DELI,<br />

LICHFIELD<br />

Not only can you get a take out of delicious<br />

breakfast, brunch or lunch from Pom’s Kitchen,<br />

you can also stock up your fridge and pantry at<br />

the deli.<br />

Fresh, locally sourced produce is the key here -<br />

for both the kitchen and the deli alike.<br />

You can pick up everything from teabags to<br />

ketchup and from luxury dog treats to a bottle of<br />

gin - and buy your lunch and a coffee to go at the<br />

same time.<br />

WHAT: TAKEAWAY MEALS, FRESH<br />

PRODUCE AND MORE<br />

WHERE: STRAWBERRYFIELDS FARM AND<br />

COFFEE SHOP, BURNTWOOD<br />

From pizzas to fish and chips to Sunday roast<br />

baps, the good folk at Strawberryfields have<br />

been cooking up all manner of delicious meals<br />

for people to take away.<br />

The beauty of this place is that you can also<br />

pick up pretty much everything you could<br />

need for a weekly shop at the same time.<br />

There’s always a tempting array of fruit and<br />

vegetables, much of which is grown on the<br />

farm.<br />

You’ll find something new every time you<br />

visit, depending on what’s in season.<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

23


T R AV E L<br />

Cheshire - where science meets nature<br />

HOLIDAYS CLOSER TO HOME HAVE BECOME THE NORM IN OUR NEW COVID-19<br />

WORLD. JENNY AMPHLETT DISCOVERS THAT YOU NEED GO NO FURTHER THAN<br />

A COUPLE OF COUNTIES TO COMPLETELY GET AWAY FROM THINGS<br />

The moon landings were 200,000<br />

miles away, but there’s a strong link<br />

just a couple of hours up the M6.<br />

It was one small step for man and<br />

one giant leap for mankind when<br />

Neil Armstrong set foot on the<br />

moon, and it’s just a handful of<br />

junctions along the motorway to a<br />

place with serious connections to<br />

that momentous occasion.<br />

On July 20, 1969 the planet’s<br />

population looked skywards as Neil<br />

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed<br />

on the moon.<br />

More than 200,000 miles away, back<br />

on Earth, their mission was being<br />

unofficially monitored and recorded by telescopes<br />

close to our neck of the woods.<br />

Jodrell Bank Observatory was keeping a close<br />

eye on the Russian and American space race and<br />

monitoring signals from both lunar missions.<br />

Signals intercepted at Jodrell Bank, now a World<br />

Heritage Site, caught the moment the astronauts<br />

touched down on the surface.<br />

I’ve seen endless images of the vast Lovell Telescope<br />

but I’d never been to Jodrell Bank before.<br />

The sheer size and scale of it takes your breath<br />

away in person. We watched engineers who looked<br />

like Lego Minifigures ascend in a lift and then walk<br />

around the structure, like something from a science<br />

fiction film.<br />

Our knowledge of astrophysics extends little further<br />

than watching too many episodes of The Big Bang<br />

Theory, but you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy a<br />

visit to the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.<br />

There are lots of interactive exhibits. My young<br />

daughter’s imagination was<br />

captured by rolling balls into a<br />

black hole and sending messages<br />

via the outdoor whispering dishes.<br />

Admission is £8.50 for adults,<br />

£7.50 for concessions, £6.50 for<br />

children and free for under-4s, with<br />

various family tickets available,<br />

making it cheaper than a visit to the<br />

cinema.<br />

It’s so close to home that a visit to<br />

Jodrell Bank combined with time<br />

in one of the woodlands or rural<br />

beauty spots around Cheshire<br />

makes for a well-rounded day out<br />

or short break, with just a short<br />

24<br />

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drive back home afterwards.<br />

Lyme Park, at Disley, is an ideal choice for a stroll<br />

after a visit to Jodrell Bank.<br />

Garden-only admission to Lyme Park is from £8 for<br />

adults and £4 for children, with group and family<br />

offers available.<br />

However we headed to Tatton Park, at Knutsford,<br />

and discovered that rather than an add-on to a<br />

daytrip it was a day out in itself.<br />

Our first port of call was the rare breeds farm where<br />

we were able to pet and coo over donkeys, goats,<br />

reindeer and freshly hatched chicks.<br />

We watched piglets causing mayhem while mummy<br />

pig closed her eyes in a mud bath just out of their<br />

reach.<br />

From the farm it was onto the mansion house, which<br />

held my young daughter’s attention much better than<br />

I had anticipated. Remember to ask for a trail sheet<br />

for any little guests to fill in.<br />

We paid a few extra pounds to ride on the old<br />

fashioned carousel in the stableyard and to ride the<br />

land train between the adventure playground and<br />

farm, which both felt well worth the price.<br />

On another visit we’d hire bikes, which are available<br />

from around £5 per hour.<br />

If you have the time to explore, the 50 acres of<br />

gardens at Tatton and stunning. You’ll find yourself<br />

constantly whipping your phone out for just another<br />

photo.<br />

At Tatton you can buy a discounted admission pass<br />

for all three attractions but then use the tickets on<br />

different days. Combined tickets are £13 for adults,<br />

£7 for children or £33 for a family which could<br />

potentially offer you three separate days out.<br />

It was close enough to drive home, but instead we<br />

headed for dinner at Cottons Hotel in Knutsford. It’s<br />

a four star hotel that’s smart but family friendly.<br />

Cottons has a child-friendly spa which is well worth<br />

a visit with your little people if you’re in the area,<br />

and not just for the mini robes with ‘V I Little P’<br />

embroidered on the back. We spent a happy few<br />

hours in the pool, whirlpool, sauna and steam room.<br />

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a break.<br />

Sometimes the perfect day out or short break might<br />

be right on your doorstep the whole time.<br />

For more information on the places mentioned in the<br />

article visit:<br />

Cheshire: Where Science Meets Nature,<br />

www.visitcheshire.com/science-meets-nature<br />

Cottons Hotel, 01565 650333,<br />

www.cottonshotel.co.uk<br />

Jodrell Bank, 01477 571766, www.jodrellbank.net<br />

Tatton Park, 01625 374400, www.tattonpark.org.uk<br />

Lyme, 01663 762023, www.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

25


T R AV E L<br />

Cuba - Get Your Groove On!<br />

HOLLY THOMSON LEAVES RAINY OLD BRITAIN<br />

BEHIND TO EXPLORE VIBRANT CUBA<br />

When choosing a destination to holiday, Cuba may<br />

seem like an odd choice. For those fond of history,<br />

Cuba will be well remembered for the infamous<br />

Cuban Missile Crisis and its tumultuous history<br />

with the USA. Those interested in politics may be<br />

intrigued by the country’s ties to communism and a<br />

way of life unlike our own. Others may know Cuba<br />

for its lucrative rum and cigar trade but maybe only<br />

a few would associate Cuba as a holiday destination.<br />

I also had these varied assumptions of the country<br />

before I set foot on its soil. I had learnt about<br />

the Cuban Missile Crisis at school, its politics at<br />

university and as a result of student life, also became<br />

fond of the rum Cuba supplied as well!<br />

As I boarded my flight to this secretive country,<br />

weighed down with presumptions about what I<br />

would encounter, I wasn’t quite prepared to be<br />

greeted with warm hospitality, rich and vibrant<br />

culture and a zest for life which I haven’t experienced<br />

anywhere else.<br />

Over the course of two weeks I travelled across<br />

Cuba, from Havana to Trinidad, and broadened my<br />

ideas of the world from within this small, secretive<br />

and secluded nation.<br />

My journey across this Caribbean island started in<br />

Havana. I stayed in a guest house a stone’s throw<br />

away from Old Havana and spent four days in the<br />

capital.<br />

The city has expanded, with the outskirts of the old<br />

centre becoming more and more high rise, adapting<br />

to the demands of the 21st century. Whilst this part<br />

of the city may seem cold and lifeless, the larger and<br />

more tempting Old Havana certainly doesn’t lack life<br />

and warmth.<br />

A short stroll through the market streets and squares<br />

will reveal colourful and varied store fronts, selling<br />

everything from original artwork to cigar cases.<br />

Alongside these tourist shops are produce stores,<br />

filled with the tempting colours and aroma of<br />

tropical fruit.<br />

26<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


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In the rooftops and balconies above the streets sprawl<br />

bars and restaurants, often with live bands, the<br />

collision of these different sounds coming together to<br />

create a vibrant celebration of life.<br />

Amongst the expansive choice of bars that line<br />

and atop Old Havana’s streets there are a few with<br />

history sealed within the walls. One of these is El<br />

Floridita, which was a favourite of the Nobel Prize<br />

winner Ernest Hemingway. Story has it that the<br />

famous author would finish the day with a Daiquiri<br />

here. The atmosphere is always vibrant with<br />

large crowds coming each day to try the famous<br />

Hemingway Daiquiri. Although this bar does get<br />

busy and is perhaps not best suited for your everyday<br />

local, it is a great spot to end your day amongst the<br />

hustle and bustle of the shopping district.<br />

Old Havana is also home to many traditional<br />

squares often inspired by Spanish and European<br />

architecture. Admire the cathedrals and other<br />

historical buildings and take the time to notice the<br />

difference in architecture from one property to the<br />

next. I was amazed at how one property could so<br />

closely resemble a spanish courthouse and the next a<br />

French villa!<br />

Of course, one of the famous images of Cuba and<br />

a must do whilst in Havana is to take a trip in a<br />

classic car. Although the country is slowly beginning<br />

to import more modern cars, the absence of widespread<br />

trade with other countries has meant that<br />

many parts of Cuban life have lagged behind the rest<br />

of the world. Many cars used by locals date back to<br />

the 1950s, as new parts are a lot easier to obtain than<br />

a new car.<br />

Make sure to research a fair price and<br />

enjoy a friendly barter with the many<br />

Havanans offering classic car tours.<br />

On our trip our guide took us through<br />

the streets of Old Havana as well as<br />

along the beachfront and into the more<br />

modern portions of the city where<br />

history is still found. The famous Plaza<br />

de la Revolución was our mid-way<br />

point on our tour where you can witness<br />

the huge steel memorials of the two<br />

most celebrated heroes of the Cuban<br />

Revolution, Che Guevara and Camilo<br />

Cienfuegos.<br />

The capital is certainly the hub of<br />

history and nightlife in Cuba but I was<br />

most surprised by the variety on offer<br />

only a few hours away from the city.<br />

Our first stop after Havana was in<br />

Vinales, a small town nestled within a<br />

countryside of sloping green fields and<br />

dramatic limestone cliffs. This town<br />

and province are most famous for their<br />

tobacco growing and we were lucky enough to visit a<br />

tobacco farm and learn the art of cigar rolling from<br />

the experts themselves.<br />

This is a popular attraction in the area and even as<br />

someone who has no interest in smoking, the process<br />

and craft was fascinating to learn about and watch.<br />

My biggest take away was that nicotine is most<br />

28<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


prevalent in the stem of the tobacco plant, therefore<br />

it can be removed to create a virtually nicotine free<br />

cigar. After watching the demonstration we were<br />

given the opportunity to purchase cigars directly<br />

from the farm itself which is much preferred as not<br />

only do you get a better price, but also the benefit of<br />

supporting a small local business.<br />

During our evenings in Vinales we were invited to<br />

join the locals for salsa in the square.<br />

This entailed dressing in our best flowing<br />

dresses and hitting the make-shift dance<br />

floor whilst the local band played lively<br />

Latin music. The local townsmen were<br />

keen to show off their moves and give us<br />

impromptu dance lessons in the process. I<br />

was put through my paces by a local salsa<br />

teacher who after dancing with me for<br />

quite some time declared that I needed<br />

more work and I should attend his dance<br />

class the next day.<br />

Cubans love to dance and this was clear<br />

to see as all of the locals took to the dance<br />

floor to show us how Salsa should really<br />

look. I was mesmerised by their flawless<br />

moves and impressive synchronisation<br />

with their dance partners. I was also<br />

impressed by the amount of rum that can<br />

be consumed on a typical salsa evening!<br />

Events like this are a common occurrence<br />

around all of Cuba. Please do join in<br />

if you stumble past a square filled with<br />

dancing and music. I was warmed by<br />

the local’s hospitality and enthusiasm in<br />

introducing us to a fundamental part of<br />

their culture.<br />

Our final stop on our trip was Trinidad.<br />

On the journey to this cultural heart of<br />

the country we spent several nights in<br />

various beach side towns where we were<br />

treated to the warm and clear waters<br />

of the Caribbean. Do make sure to also<br />

make this part of your trip to Cuba, the<br />

beach resorts are untouched and a real<br />

getaway.<br />

Trinidad is the cultural hub of Cuba and<br />

for good reason. Originally home to the<br />

sugar industry in the country, the town<br />

has since left its industrial past behind<br />

and embraced tourism. Due to the city<br />

no longer being seen as a major town<br />

for industry in the region, very few new<br />

buildings have been erected, allowing<br />

the charm and colours of the traditional<br />

buildings to shine. Nowhere is this more<br />

prevalent than in the Plaza Mayor which<br />

is like stepping back in time.<br />

Amongst these buildings are art museums,<br />

restaurants and places of worship. In the evening<br />

the stairs off to the right of the plaza come alive with<br />

dancing and music leading to more magical salsa and<br />

rumba nights.<br />

In the day, walking the streets is enough to simply<br />

soak up the culture and feel of this amazing city,<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

29


ut the outskirts of Trinidad are<br />

filled with goodies too. I chose to<br />

take a horse ride to a waterfall<br />

nestled in the neighbouring<br />

Escambray Mountains. On the<br />

way, along a rocky path, we were<br />

offered sugar cane juice and<br />

other refreshments. When we got<br />

to the waterfall we were able to<br />

swim, all while surrounded by<br />

tropical jungle - a far cry from the<br />

colourful buildings we had left<br />

behind only a few miles away.<br />

Back in Trinidad we also<br />

discovered more about the way<br />

of life for Cubans all over the<br />

country. Every other evening or so<br />

I would make my way to a local<br />

park, which was always full of<br />

people and life. Although from<br />

the outside this may seem idyllic, the parks are so<br />

busy as for many they are the only source of internet.<br />

A wifi card can be purchased from a shop on the<br />

edge of the park and with this you will get an hour<br />

of internet on one device. The parks were lined with<br />

tourists and locals alike, all trying to update their<br />

friends and social media with what they had been up<br />

to in recent days.<br />

With only an hour of internet, accessible only in a<br />

park, you may be wondering how Cubans manage<br />

to watch movies, TV shows and access other media.<br />

The Cubans are nothing but resourceful and use<br />

their community spirit to make sure everyone has<br />

access to what they want or need. Although shops<br />

are available to buy basic clothing, Cubans often opt<br />

to shop out of their neighbours’ spare bedrooms,<br />

trading clothes or selling items purchased on recent<br />

trips to Mexico.<br />

Life may seem constricted and oppressed from an<br />

outsider’s perspective but after spending some time<br />

on this mysterious island what was apparent to me<br />

was how community spirit and camaraderie can<br />

make anything possible. Cubans are proud of their<br />

country, its industry, politics and people. They are<br />

well educated and are not ignorant of their place in<br />

the world. However, whilst they listen to our stories<br />

of fast-paced lifestyles they remain content with their<br />

lot in life.<br />

Cuba was more than I expected, a breath of fresh<br />

air and full of surprises. The country has attractions<br />

aplenty and makes for a fantastic trip with a fabulous<br />

mix of adventure and relaxation. With the country<br />

only set to become more modernised in the future,<br />

there is no better time to see Cuba than now or in<br />

the near future.<br />

To plan and book your holiday to Cuba call or<br />

WhatsApp RB Collection on 01543 258631 or<br />

email vip@rbcollection.com. Book before<br />

February 28, <strong>2021</strong> and mention J’aime Magazine to<br />

receive a free Cuba guide book with personal hints<br />

and tips added in www.rbcollection.com/cuba<br />

30<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


Jean Lamb Wealth Consultancy<br />

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

wealth management advice to my clients for more<br />

than 25 years.<br />

I specialise in the following key areas<br />

and welcome your enquiry:<br />

• Investment Planning<br />

• InheritanceTax and Estate Planning<br />

• Pre and Post-Retirement Planning<br />

• Care Fees Planning and Funding for Care<br />

Telephone: 01543 417342<br />

Website: www.jeanlamb.co.uk<br />

Email: jean.lamb@sjpp.co.uk<br />

Office: 6A Market Street, Lichfield, WS13 6LH<br />

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)<br />

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<br />

Summer Bodies Are Made In Winter<br />

LICHFIELD PERSONAL TRAINER RAUL ROMERO LOOKS AT<br />

WORKING ON A LONG TERM FITNESS PLAN FOR THE NEW YEAR<br />

Bitterly cold weather, short dark days and icy winter<br />

mornings...all perfect excuses to stay at home in front<br />

of a toasty fire with a hot cuppa, binge watching the<br />

latest TV shows and filling our boots with satisfying<br />

comfort food whilst repeating the mantra as old as<br />

time of ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ in reference to our fitness<br />

journey.<br />

Or, another way of looking at it, creating and<br />

envisaging your fitness goal, having the grit,<br />

determination and self motivation to get up and out<br />

especially on those dark, dreary, cold wet days, one<br />

day at a time to make those goals a reality.<br />

Many of our New Year’s resolutions include health<br />

and fitness goals of all types. The start of the New<br />

Year can be such a great opportunity to properly<br />

plan and create a realistic fitness training plan that<br />

suits your individual needs and lifestyle.<br />

The key is sticking to your plan one day at a time<br />

and keeping momentum even on those long, dark<br />

and difficult winter nights.<br />

As straightforward as this sounds, this is not usually<br />

what we see in the glossy magazines. Here we often<br />

find glamorised ‘six week beach body’ type plans that<br />

focus on the short term, usually for those who are<br />

looking for a last minute solution before a holiday or<br />

special occasion. Whilst there is nothing wrong with<br />

this, these types of regimes aren’t usually suitable for<br />

everyone or sustainable for the long term.<br />

There are various reasons for this:<br />

- Our bodies need to build a solid foundation of<br />

fitness before we push ourselves to higher levels.<br />

Some of these short term programmes are extremely<br />

demanding on the body and could do more damage<br />

than good. Preparing our bodies to become stronger<br />

and fitter is key!<br />

- Technique! Training with the correct technique in<br />

the execution of exercises is vital to avoid injuries.<br />

This is something that is learnt and perfected over<br />

32<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


time, which fits in perfectly with long term goals and<br />

plans.<br />

- If exercises are too demanding for our unprepared<br />

bodies they aren’t usually enjoyable. Naturally<br />

if something is not enjoyable we are going to<br />

lose motivation a lot quicker and usually give up<br />

altogether.<br />

Suffice to say, there is no magic pill or diet that can<br />

transform our bodies in the blink of an eye. Short<br />

term extreme fitness regimes or diets may work for<br />

a while but are almost never sustainable and it is so<br />

easy to regress and be in an even worse fitness state<br />

than before.<br />

Achieving our fitness goals, just like achieving any<br />

other goals worth having, takes planning, hard work,<br />

dedication and time.<br />

The key is finding a way of exercising that we truly<br />

enjoy and that can be incorporated into our daily<br />

lives, and a way of healthy eating that again we enjoy<br />

and can then sustain, thus resulting in a lifestyle<br />

change rather than a short term temporary fitness<br />

stint. Another way of looking at it is keeping in shape<br />

all year round, then having some ‘peak’ times in the<br />

year where we push ourselves even more, maybe in<br />

preparation for a special event or holiday.<br />

In order to achieve our summer bodies we have<br />

to start the hard work now, by planning carefully<br />

and realistically, then maintaining motivation and<br />

dedication and working hard, even through the<br />

winter months.<br />

Seeking professional guidance with the planning and<br />

execution of fitness training and nutrition planning<br />

is a very helpful tool which also helps add a layer of<br />

accountability, thus making it easier not to fall off the<br />

wagon.<br />

I have many clients who start training with me in<br />

<strong>January</strong> after the Christmas binge and who very<br />

often have a holiday booked in July so want to<br />

physically see results by then. That means there are<br />

around 75-80 training days to make the most of<br />

before the holiday. That is enough time to learn and<br />

develop good technique, create strong foundations<br />

and gradually build up the volume and intensity of<br />

training for them to have made noticeable gains by<br />

July.<br />

Training in this structured way, consistently, every<br />

week without any excuses, not only helps achieve<br />

fitness goals but also gives a much lower chance of<br />

developing pain or injuries.<br />

Training with a mid to long term goal like this<br />

eliminates any losses to fitness goals in case you have<br />

to miss a few days of training due to illness.<br />

Similar planning strategies can be applied to our<br />

nutrition habits. Planning and making small, steady,<br />

realistic changes to improve our diet and nutrition<br />

can work hand in hand perfectly with a structured<br />

training regime. Small changes over a period of time<br />

really can help us achieve massive noticeable results.<br />

That leads me on to my top tips to be<br />

successful with your health and fitness goals<br />

in <strong>2021</strong>:<br />

1) Establish a routine.<br />

2) Start with exercises you like. Make it fun.<br />

3) Seek expert support.<br />

4) Join group sessions for that extra support<br />

(if possible).<br />

5) Be kind to yourself.<br />

6) Try and find a training buddy.<br />

7) Track your progress.<br />

Happy New Year to all & happy training! If you<br />

would like any help or advice on anything health and<br />

fitness related please feel free to get in touch with me<br />

at raul@ambitionpt.co.uk or via social media<br />

(@ambitionpersonaltraininguk).<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

33


FA S H I O N<br />

Bossy boots<br />

WINTER-PROOF YOUR TOOTSIES WITH SOME OF THE HOTTEST BOOTS<br />

STYLES AROUND. AMY NORBURY HUNTS DOWN THE BEST PICKS TO SEE<br />

YOU THROUGH TO SPRING<br />

AFTER the ubiquitous winter coat, boots are the biggest ticket<br />

purchase for any fashionista’s winter wardrobe. An essential<br />

piece of kit to combat the vagaries of the great British weather,<br />

boots are a seasonal must-have; the go-to footwear pick until the<br />

thermometer starts its springtime rise.<br />

In past seasons, boots have become a style statement in<br />

their own right; from sky high and thigh high to full-on<br />

embellishments, there have been some seriously showy offerings<br />

glamming up the catwalks and high streets alike.<br />

But this winter, things are a little more pared back. Throughout<br />

2020, fashion trends have erred towards the practical - after all,<br />

we’ve been lounging through lockdown in our comfiest garb,<br />

and casualwear has replaced office chic for working from home<br />

and Zoom meetings galore.<br />

And that ethos has carried through to footwear; from gum boots<br />

at Christian Dior to hiking boots at Chloé, we’ve all fallen for<br />

footwear with function at its heart.<br />

When it comes to heels, it’s all about taking it low. Sturdy<br />

block heels have taken over, with not a stiletto in sight, and<br />

highly wearable ankle styles have become a firm favourite, with<br />

chunkier biker and combat boots offering the perfect balance of<br />

practicality and attitude.<br />

If you’re looking at knee high or above, opt for an equestrian<br />

vibe with either flats or a sturdy heel in classic black or tan.<br />

For easy everyday chic, a classic Chelsea boot hits the right note,<br />

while the ever-popular Western styles which have been top of<br />

the wishlist for a few seasons remain a solid pick.<br />

And while suede has been having its moment in the fashion<br />

spotlight recently, the tide has once again turned back towards<br />

the practicality and durability of leather. Forget dodging<br />

downpours in your new suede numbers; this season opt for boots<br />

that’ll have you splashing in puddles without a second thought.<br />

PASSO BOOTS, £140, DUNE LONDON.<br />

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM<br />

34<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


£95<br />

£120<br />

£45<br />

ADJUST BOOTS, OFFICE.<br />

WWW.OFFICE.CO.UK<br />

PAXTONE2 BOOTS, DUNE LONDON.<br />

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM<br />

OLIVIA BLACK ABOVE THE KNEE<br />

BOOTS, MISS SELFRIDGE.<br />

WWW.MISSSELFRIDGE.COM<br />

£145<br />

£55<br />

PICTOR BOOTS, DUNE LONDON.<br />

WWW.DUNELONDON.COM<br />

PER UNA BOOTS, MARKS AND SPENCER.<br />

WWW.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM<br />

£80<br />

A TOUCH OF BOHO SLOUCHY<br />

BOOTS, JOE BROWNS.<br />

WWW.JOEBROWNS.CO.UK<br />

£185<br />

£92<br />

SLOAN ANKLE BOOT, JIGSAW<br />

AT HARVEY NICHOLS.<br />

WWW.HARVEYNICHOLS.COM<br />

ASSERT BUCKLED BOOTS, OFFICE.<br />

WWW.OFFICE.CO.UK<br />

LEIGH HYBRID HIKER BOOTS, £75,<br />

NEWBURY HIKER BOOTS, £85, CROSBY<br />

LINED LACE UP BOOTS, £75, AND<br />

OTHERS FROM A SELECTION AT<br />

FATFACE. WWW.FATFACE.COM<br />

BIKER BOOTS, £45, GREY ANIMAL PRINT<br />

TOP,£38, AND PU LEGGINGS, £32, ALL<br />

WALLIS. WWW.WALLIS.CO.UK<br />

35


W H AT ’ S O N<br />

What’s On Local<br />

START THE YEAR AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON BY GETTING<br />

OUT OF THE HOUSE AND FINDING SOME FUN<br />

WHAT: DRIVE-IN CINEMA<br />

WHERE: SANDON HALL, SANDON, STAFFORDSHIRE<br />

WHEN: DATES THROUGHOUT JANUARY<br />

Drive-in entertainment was able to restart at the end of the national<br />

lockdown, despite many indoor entertainment venues having to<br />

remain closed. It’s seen a resurgence of drive-in cinema screenings<br />

around the country.<br />

The Great British Drive In, at Sandon Hall, is one of our absolute<br />

favourites. Members of the J’AIME team have been paying<br />

customers and heartily recommend it.<br />

It feels very safe and you have the backdrop of a stunning stately<br />

home behind the massive cinema screen.<br />

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

food prepared by Digbeth Dining Club.<br />

<strong>January</strong>’s films are set to include Grease, The Greatest Showman<br />

and Interstellar.<br />

WHAT: PANTOMIME<br />

WHERE: ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM<br />

WHEN: JANUARY 15 TO 31<br />

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

fashioned pantomime, Robin Hood, starring Craig Revel Horwood<br />

from Strictly Come Dancing as The Sheriff of Nottingham.<br />

The socially distanced, one-act show has been shortened so that<br />

members of the audience won’t risk mingling during an interval.<br />

The line-up is also due to include Richard Cadell and Sooty, Black<br />

Country favourite Doreen Tipton and Matt Slack who usually<br />

appears in panto at the Birmingham Hippodrome.<br />

Expect traditional panto fun at the end of a very untraditional year.<br />

WHAT: CHINESE NEW YEAR<br />

WHERE: LOCATIONS AROUND BIRMINGHAM<br />

WHEN: JANUARY 24 TO 26<br />

At the time of going to press Birmingham city centre was still set<br />

to play host to elaborate celebrations to mark the Chinese New<br />

Year.<br />

COVID-19 may cause some plans to change, but you can still<br />

anticipate a riot of colour in Birmingham’s Chinatown.<br />

There’s due to be a wish tree in Grand central that visitors can<br />

add their own wishes to.<br />

There are also set to be stalls, street entertainers and<br />

performances.<br />

36<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


WHAT: SELF-GUIDED WALK<br />

WHERE: BIRMINGHAM<br />

WHEN: WHENEVER YOU LIKE<br />

You can enjoy a guided heritage walk around Birmingham with<br />

members of your bubble without even needing to interact with<br />

another human.<br />

Curious About has organised two different walks around the city,<br />

both with a treasure hunt theme.<br />

You simply need to download the guide from the website and then<br />

get out and about at a time and day to suit you.<br />

You can find out more by visiting the website at<br />

www.curiousabout.co.uk/birmingham<br />

WHAT: ART EXHIBITION<br />

WHERE: IKON GALLERY, BRINDLEYPLACE, BIRMINGHAM<br />

WHEN: THROUGHOUT JANUARY<br />

Ikon Gallery’s new group show, Faster Than Ever, is an<br />

exhibition invented out of necessity in response to the<br />

challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.<br />

Involving more than 20 artists from across the world, it is<br />

an exercise in capitalising on chance, making the most of<br />

incongruity and happy accidents.<br />

Participating artists include Thomas Bewick, Julie Brook,<br />

Alice Cattaneo, Lee Bul, Edmund Clark, Martin Creed, Kate<br />

Groobey, Graham Gussin, Arturo Herrera, Carmen Herrera,<br />

On Kawara, Lutz and Guggisberg, Haroon Mirza, Ivan<br />

Morison, Nástio Mosquito, Grace Ndiritu, Cornelia Parker,<br />

Navin Rawanchaikul, Noguchi Rika, Shimabuku, Dayanita<br />

Singh, Bosco Sodi, Nancy Spero and Beat Streuli.<br />

Admission is free of charge.<br />

WHAT: LIVE MUSIC<br />

WHERE: LICHFIELD GARRICK<br />

WHEN: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30<br />

At the time of going to press live music was still set to return<br />

to Lichfield Garrick in <strong>January</strong>, including tribute evening The<br />

George Michael Legacy.<br />

International tribute artiste Wayne Dilks and his band pay tribute<br />

to the late George Michael in this show.<br />

Wayne has been a George Michael tribute artiste for almost 20<br />

years, dedicating his professional career to pay homage to the late<br />

pop phenomenon.<br />

He delivers his heartfelt tribute to the global superstar in<br />

a sensitive and spectacular way, receiving five star reviews<br />

nationwide.<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com 37


LO CA L A R E A<br />

Escape into a Garden<br />

WHATEVER THE WEATHER, VISITING SOME GLORIOUS GARDENS WILL STILL BE<br />

WONDERFULLY SOOTHING FOR MIND, BODY AND SOUL THIS MONTH. HERE ARE<br />

SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES, RIGHT ON THE DOORSTEP<br />

Shugborough, Milford, near Stafford<br />

The gardens and parkland of this National<br />

Trust-run property are due to be open between<br />

9am and 4pm every day in <strong>January</strong>. Visitors are<br />

asked to book in advance wherever possible, to<br />

avoid disappointment on the day. Takeaway food<br />

and drink are available and the play area is still<br />

open.<br />

Wightwick Manor and Gardens,<br />

Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton<br />

The gardens at Wightwick Manor are due to be<br />

open to visitors every day in <strong>January</strong>, but you’ll<br />

need to book your visit in advance. You will also<br />

be able to buy takeaway food and drink from<br />

the tearoom. The gardens at Wightwick were<br />

redesigned by Thomas Mawson in 1904 and<br />

have plenty to discover, even in the depths of<br />

winter.<br />

Birmingham Botanical Gardens,<br />

Edgbaston<br />

The glasshouses are currently closed due to<br />

coronavirus restrictions but you can still visit the<br />

gardens and playground. Booking in advance is<br />

requested and you will be able to buy takeaway<br />

food from the cafe. If you’re very lucky you may<br />

well catch some early flowers in bloom.<br />

Winterbourne House and Garden,<br />

Edgbaston<br />

The house and tearoom may be closed but the<br />

gardens and shop remain open to visitors at<br />

Winterbourne. People are asked to book their<br />

visit in advance and follow the suggested route<br />

around the garden. Winterbourne is one of the<br />

best surviving examples of an Edwardian Arts<br />

and Crafts suburban villa garden in the country.<br />

38 www.jaimemagazine.com


eyond the horizon<br />

Let’s create something to look forward to<br />

Nothing can beat personal advice when you’re looking to put<br />

the last few months behind you and make plans to look<br />

forward, whether that’s a last-minute getaway or you’re<br />

planning ahead to next year.<br />

You will always have the support of a real person,<br />

be it face-to-face, by video, phone or email -<br />

whenever you need me.<br />

Charlotte Mitchell<br />

Travel Counsellor<br />

0121 314 6650 or 07860 944207<br />

charlotte.mitchell@travelcounsellors.com<br />

www.travelcounsellors.com/charlotte.mitchell<br />

www.facebook.com/CharlotteMitchellTC<br />

Proud to be a family run business for over 35 years<br />

HOME IS WHERE THE WARMTH IS<br />

“Fantastic<br />

service and<br />

great products.<br />

Thanks Kieran”<br />

Sam McD,<br />

Whitaker<br />

Heath<br />

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

Telephone: 0121 384 5251 - www.abbeyfirecentre.co.uk<br />

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

Suppliers of: Contura, Jotul, Gazco, Paragon, Scan, Town<br />

& Country Fires, ACR Heat Products and many more<br />

Installers and suppliers of gas fires, bespoke limestone<br />

surrounds, and gas and woodburning stoves, since 1981.<br />

For your safety and to observe social distancing we are<br />

asking that you telephone or email to arrange a personal<br />

viewing of our showroom.<br />

abbeyfirecentre @abbeyfirecentre abbeyfirecentreltd


LO CA L A R E A<br />

Walk this way<br />

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

US GOING THROUGHOUT LOCKDOWNS AND RESTRICTIONS. HERE ARE SOME OF<br />

OUR FAVOURITE WALKING DESTINATIONS TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE INSPIRATION<br />

Birches Valley, Cannock Chase<br />

Birches Valley is the perfect place for a magical<br />

walk in the woods. There are so many different<br />

trails to try, but we particularly love the childfriendly<br />

walk that includes a fairy garden and<br />

Gruffalo statue. There’s no admission fee, but<br />

you will need to pay for parking. There’s a<br />

brilliant free playground, and don’t forget to take<br />

along some money for a takeaway coffee or even<br />

an ice cream.<br />

Downs Banks, Oulton Heath, near Stone<br />

Take a leisurely stroll along Downs Banks brook<br />

and you may be lucky enough to see a kingfisher<br />

catching his lunch. On a clear day there are<br />

brilliant views from the highest point of the<br />

downs and you should be able to make out Mow<br />

Cop and the Wrekin. There’s plenty of parking<br />

at the site, but it can get busy when the weather<br />

is good.<br />

Kinver Edge, Kinver<br />

You’ll find miles of waymarked footpaths at<br />

Kinver Edge, including plenty that are suitable<br />

for all the family. We particularly like the<br />

woodland trail, which has natural play areas<br />

to explore along the way. It’s quite steep in<br />

places but the magnificent views make the effort<br />

worthwhile. Dogs on leads are very welcome too.<br />

Canalside stroll, a towpath near you<br />

A walk along a canal towpath is a walk that<br />

just keeps on giving. You’ll generally find the<br />

paths easily accessible and you’ll see plenty of<br />

interesting things along the way. If you’re lucky<br />

you’ll spot some interesting barges and perhaps<br />

be able to watch a canal lock in action. We<br />

particularly like the stretch of the Trent and<br />

Mersey that runs through Stone, and not just<br />

because a walk can be combined with a trip to<br />

the lovely town itself.<br />

40<br />

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Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield<br />

It’s right on our doorstep and it’s free, so make<br />

the most of beautiful Sutton Park. A designated<br />

national nature reserve, it’s one of the largest<br />

urban parks in Europe. Back in the time of<br />

Henry VIII it was a hunting forest but now<br />

you’re more likely to spot great crested grebes.<br />

Tittesworth Reservoir, near Leek<br />

You’ll need to drive to visit this man-made<br />

beauty spot, but it’s well worth the journey. You<br />

can take a 4.5 mile trail which loops right around<br />

the reservoir or a short 1.5 mile walk if needs<br />

be. After all that walking you can refuel with<br />

takeaway food and drink from the on-site cafe.<br />

Sandwell Valley, West Bromwich<br />

If you’re looking for a stroll that isn’t too taxing<br />

then this RSPB nature reserve could be a good<br />

choice for you. There are walking and cycle<br />

routes and you’re almost guaranteed to spot<br />

some spectacular wildlife. Depending on the<br />

time of year you may see kingfishers, skylarks<br />

and lapwings.<br />

Rudyard Lake, near Leek<br />

In decades gone<br />

by a visit to<br />

Rudyard Lake<br />

was the equivalent<br />

of a day at the<br />

seaside for many<br />

families, for very<br />

good reason.<br />

Expect spectacular<br />

scenery and the<br />

opportunity to go<br />

out on a boat or<br />

travel aboard a<br />

miniature steam<br />

train, restrictions<br />

allowing. There<br />

is plentiful on-site<br />

parking.<br />

Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire<br />

It’s a bit of a drive, but the parkland<br />

at the Chatsworth Estate is among the<br />

most beautiful you will find anywhere<br />

in the country. You can talk a circular<br />

walking route around the Devonshire<br />

family’s stately pile completely free<br />

of charge without even stepping foot<br />

inside the house itself.<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

41


P O S I T I V E T H I N K I N G<br />

A happy and positive<br />

<strong>2021</strong> really is possible<br />

JENNY AMPHLETT LOOKS ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF 2020 AND SAYS YOU SHOULD<br />

MAKE IT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO FIND POSITIVITY IN THE YEAR AHEAD.<br />

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions.<br />

Those dark days of <strong>January</strong>, when people are<br />

reining in their social life or counting the cost<br />

of the festive season, can be depressing enough<br />

without denying yourself life’s small pleasures.<br />

The thought of 31 days without a decent night<br />

out might just be bearable if you allow yourself<br />

to finish the rest of the tin of Quality Street and<br />

that bottle of Advocaat from the back of the<br />

cupboard. Or at least that’s the way I usually<br />

look at it.<br />

If you want to start a new health regime then<br />

I reckon you should do it in the middle of<br />

summer when the sun is shining, when it feels<br />

less tortuous and when you actually stand a<br />

fighting chance of sticking to it.<br />

Instead of devising ways to get fit, lose weight<br />

or generally make myself miserable, I tend to<br />

spend some time at New Year looking back over<br />

the previous 12 months and trying to remind<br />

myself of the things I have to be thankful for.<br />

We all have some, even if we need to hunt them<br />

out for what has been a difficult and unusual<br />

year for so many of us.<br />

The list is obviously different for every one of us, but<br />

for me it usually includes the likes of managing not to<br />

lose any loved ones during<br />

the past year, time spent<br />

with close family, having<br />

wonderful friends.<br />

In a more normal year<br />

my list would include<br />

holidays, days out, theatre<br />

and cinema visits, and<br />

particularly memorable<br />

meals. Most of that has<br />

been nigh on impossible to<br />

achieve this year, but I can<br />

still add managing not to<br />

kill any houseplants, books<br />

I’ve read, work projects<br />

42<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com


I’ve felt proud of and things I’d been putting off but<br />

finally got around to doing to that list.<br />

For me it’s been a year of being brave, taking chances<br />

and leaping into the unknown in a way I may well not<br />

have been prepared to do had 2020 been just any old<br />

year.<br />

Unlike most years I can also add a serious amount<br />

of walking to my list of happy moments, getting to<br />

know the village I live in a bit better by pounding its<br />

pavements each day and becoming more attuned to<br />

nature by disappearing into the woods or across fields<br />

whenever the opportunity presented itself.<br />

It’s a year when I’ve picked nettles and turned<br />

them into soup, cooked all manner of puddings<br />

from windfall apples and photographed every wild<br />

mushroom I’ve laid eyes on.<br />

Every single one of us has had low points during the<br />

past 12 months, I know that I certainly have. But look<br />

at them in the right way and they can be reasons to<br />

be thankful too. However tough those things may<br />

have been, and perhaps continue to be for some of us,<br />

we’re still here on the other side of them. And we’re<br />

looking a shiny, hopeful new year in the face; a year in<br />

which we may well be able to get some of our muchmissed<br />

freedoms back.<br />

Looking for the happy moments from the past 12<br />

months and finding ways to have more of the same in<br />

the coming 12 months is a much more positive way of<br />

dealing with the New Year than picking out the things<br />

you don’t like about yourself and deciding how to<br />

change them.<br />

If you’re going to make a New Year’s Resolution,<br />

please make it to embrace all the positive things<br />

that <strong>2021</strong> brings. Resolve to never take the people<br />

in your life for granted again, to support your local<br />

community in any way you can and to realise that<br />

happiness really can be found in the small things.<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

43


I N T H E N E W S<br />

The write stuff for author Lisa<br />

A STAFFORDSHIRE AUTHOR HAS WON A LITERARY PRIZE FOR HER<br />

BOOK INSPIRED BY STRONG WOMEN FROM THE COUNTY<br />

A collection of short stories inspired by feisty<br />

Staffordshire women has been awarded this year’s<br />

Arnold Bennett Literary Prize.<br />

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s, written by Lisa<br />

Blower, was revealed as the winner in an online<br />

ceremony.<br />

The book had been shortlisted alongside former<br />

Coronation Street actress Deborah McAndrew’s play<br />

The D Road, Peter Cash’s poetry anthology Pitying<br />

The Planet and academic John Shapcott’s Arnold<br />

Bennett and Frederick Marriott Parallel Lives.<br />

“I’m pleased as punch to win, chuffed to bits, in fact I<br />

did have a little cry,” Lisa said.<br />

“As part of the awards ceremony the shortlisted<br />

writers each read out an extract of their work. I was<br />

so completely mesmerised by the others that I was<br />

convinced I wouldn’t win.<br />

“When they said my name I was so shocked I just<br />

literally hadn’t thought it would be me in the face of<br />

such strong opposition.”<br />

The 46-year-old has received a £500 prize and the<br />

prestige of following in the footsteps of previous<br />

winners such as Guardian culture columnist Charlotte<br />

Higgins, who was awarded last year for Red Thread:<br />

On Mazes and Labyrinths.<br />

Lisa now works as a senior lecturer and course leader<br />

in creative and professional writing at Wolverhampton<br />

University.<br />

After studying at Sheffield, Manchester and Bangor<br />

universities, she began her career lecturing in creative<br />

writing at Bangor University.<br />

She taught the first course in working class fiction at<br />

a UK university and has been a guest lecturer on the<br />

topic at Staffordshire University .<br />

Lisa’s debut novel, Sitting Ducks, was shortlisted<br />

for the inaugural Arnold Bennett Prize in 2017 and<br />

longlisted for The Guardian’s Not the Booker in 2016.<br />

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s features<br />

strong, working class women including Lisa’s own<br />

grandmother, Nellie Edwards, who died in her 90s<br />

after a lifetime of working as a dipper for various<br />

potteries across Stoke-on-Trent.<br />

Lisa said:<br />

“After she<br />

died I sat<br />

down to write<br />

the eulogy for<br />

her funeral<br />

and began<br />

remembering<br />

all the things<br />

she used to<br />

say to me<br />

when I was a<br />

child.<br />

“She was a<br />

witty and<br />

outspoken<br />

woman. If<br />

she fell out<br />

with a shop<br />

steward at<br />

work she’d walk across the road and start working for<br />

another potbank instead.”<br />

That funeral tribute turned into a short story which<br />

won Lisa The Guardian National Short Story Award<br />

in 2009, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short<br />

Story Award in 2013 and was longlisted for The<br />

Sunday Times Short Story Award in 2018.<br />

It was only natural then that it should form part of a<br />

collection of short tales featuring the likes of Ruthie<br />

the ‘happy hooker’, sleep-deprived Laura and young<br />

mum Roxanne.<br />

“It’s fiction but there are some autobiographical<br />

moments in there, like the journey my family used to<br />

make to Barmouth during the Potters Holidays every<br />

year.<br />

“They’re mostly stories about women but I remember<br />

growing up with a lot of women around me. I was<br />

surrounded by chattering matriarchs who were always<br />

telling stories and gossiping.<br />

“The women of that time didn’t think they were doing<br />

anything interesting or significant or contributing to<br />

history, but of course they were.<br />

44<br />

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“I remember telling my nan that I’d like to write her<br />

life history and she said whatever for as she hadn’t<br />

done anything. Those women were accepting rather<br />

than expecting. They worked their whole lives, they<br />

made armaments during the war – but they didn’t<br />

think they’d done anything interesting.”<br />

The title of the book is a phrase that Lisa’s nan used<br />

to often say to her. It means that it looks like rain is on<br />

the way.<br />

“It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s felt like an apt<br />

title for a collection of stories that mine the pits, pots<br />

and poets I grew up with, where I played in the backs<br />

behind the Leek New Road, or sat listening to my<br />

nan’s stories and scruffy wisdom.<br />

“We’d spend weekends walking the towpaths around<br />

Stockton Brook before heading home to tape the<br />

charts, a pan of lobby on the stove.<br />

“It was a peachy childhood, despite the smog, strikes<br />

and Thatcher gunning for the unions back in the early<br />

80s; my mum making us all wipe our feet on a Vote<br />

Conservative board before she put it out for the dog to<br />

do his business on.<br />

“The stalwart citizens of the Potteries working class<br />

owned neither a car, passport or a mortgage but were<br />

the vital participants in its industry. Any potter worth<br />

their salt will flip over a plate seeking Made in Stokeon-Trent<br />

because at least someone in their family<br />

will have had a hand in making it. And that’s what I<br />

wanted to capture.”<br />

It’s Gone Dark Over Bill’s Mother’s is published by<br />

Myriad and priced £8.99. Lisa’s novel Pondweed will<br />

be out in paperback in April <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Music to her ears<br />

A LICHFIELD TEENAGER HAS WON A NATIONAL COMPOSING AWARD<br />

A Staffordshire schoolgirl has won a national<br />

composing award and had her work broadcast to the<br />

nation on BBC Radio 3 despite it being her very first<br />

choral composition.<br />

Eilidh Owen, 17, says she was surprised and excited<br />

to pick up the Young Composer Award 2020 from the<br />

National Centre for Early Music.<br />

The year 13 pupil at Lichfield Cathedral School will<br />

have her work performed at a concert at the Cadogan<br />

Hall in March. It will then be broadcast on BBC<br />

Radio 3’s Early Music Show.<br />

She said: ““I was so surprised and excited when I<br />

heard my name announced as the winner of the<br />

NCEM Young Composers Award. This was the first<br />

choir piece I’ve ever written and I didn’t expect to do<br />

so well.<br />

“I still can’t believe that Radio 3 played part of my<br />

piece on the In Tune program and the nice comments<br />

made by Katie Derham. I’m really looking forward<br />

to hearing the Tallis Scholars perform my piece in<br />

London in March.”<br />

Her winning<br />

composition was<br />

based on the first and<br />

last verses of George<br />

Herbert’s poem The<br />

Flower.<br />

Dad Richard Owen<br />

said: “It was exciting<br />

for us to see and<br />

hear Eilidh’s piece<br />

performed and a<br />

total shock when she<br />

won. The reaction from friends and family who were<br />

able to watch online has been incredible.<br />

“We just want to say thank you to the NCEM for<br />

organising the competition and for everyone who has<br />

trained and encouraged Eilidh at Lichfield Cathedral<br />

School and Lichfield Cathedral Choir.”<br />

You can see and hear all the finalist’s pieces sung and<br />

the awards being announced here:<br />

www.ncem.co.uk/composersaward2020/<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

45


I N T H E N E W S<br />

Through The Cracks<br />

A PRIZE-WINNING PAKISTANI AUTHOR HAS CHOSEN TO PUBLISH HER NEW BOOK<br />

IN STAFFORDSHIRE. JENNY AMPHLETT FOUND OUT WHY A COUNTY IN THE<br />

MIDDLE OF A COUNTRY 4,000 MILES AWAY WAS SO APPEALING<br />

An award-winning Pakistani author has chosen to<br />

publish her latest book four thousand miles away - in<br />

Staffordshire.<br />

Bushra Naqi, who lives in the historic city of Lahore<br />

in the Punjab, was awarded the prestigious Patrus<br />

Bokhari Prize by the Government of Pakistan in<br />

honour of her literary contribution to the country.<br />

Her latest book, Through The Cracks, has been<br />

published by North Staffordshire Press and is being<br />

released simultaneously in the UK and Pakistan.<br />

Written in English rather than Urdu, it is a<br />

collection of short stories that give an insight into<br />

Pakistani culture and look at both traditional and<br />

unconventional relationships.<br />

“Pakistan is a very conservative country. Writing in<br />

English gives me more freedom,” she said. “The<br />

majority of people in Pakistan don’t understand or<br />

read English. The people who do read English are not<br />

the conservative types, so you can get away with a lot<br />

more things when you’re writing in English.”<br />

The 69-year-old says that living in what she calls a<br />

traditionally conservative society encouraged her to<br />

‘become a reactionary’ and challenge a ‘stagnant and<br />

static’ way of life.<br />

The book, which Bushra says is partly<br />

autobiographical, gives snapshots into the lives of<br />

everyone from committed spinsters to women fleeing<br />

abusive relationships and from immigrants struggling<br />

to fit into their new country to people engaged in<br />

clandestine love affairs.<br />

“There’s no state censorship in Pakistan,” she said.<br />

“People do write whatever they want to in my country.<br />

I wanted to publish in the UK because I thought there<br />

would be a market for my work there too.<br />

“I found North Staffordshire Press on the internet and<br />

have found them very good to deal with, via emails<br />

and video calls.”<br />

Bushra chose the book’s title, Through The Cracks,<br />

as each of her stories gives an insight into a different<br />

person’s life.<br />

“We never really see people in their wholeness, we<br />

BUSHRA NAQI<br />

don’t get the whole picture, there’s always something<br />

concealed. I’m looking behind that,” she said.<br />

Bushra studied creative writing in New York after<br />

being introduced to classic English literature at a<br />

very young age by her father, who had studied at<br />

Cambridge University.<br />

“My father told us a lot about life in England,” said<br />

Bushra. “I was reading the English classics at a very<br />

young age - Dickens, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the<br />

Brontes. It helped me to develop a love for literature<br />

and reading.<br />

“I started writing poetry when I was 19 and had my<br />

work published. I then found the medium of short<br />

stories more effective to articulate my observations<br />

about human nature.<br />

“My stories are partly autobiographical - I had all of<br />

these stories inside of me somewhere.”<br />

Through The Cracks is published by North<br />

Staffs Press priced £10. It can be ordered<br />

from all good book sellers using the ISBN<br />

code 978 1 8 380893 9 9.<br />

46<br />

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across curtains, blinds and wallpapers with tracks,<br />

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Interior Choice aims to have the largest selection in<br />

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Key brands include Romo, Voyage and Prestigious<br />

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All budgets are catered for, from entry-level express<br />

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Everything comes with a three year warranty, subject<br />

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If you’ve just moved into a new home or need your<br />

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that some blinds and curtains can be delivered and<br />

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And if you’re looking for blinds or curtains for a<br />

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Visits to the 512sq ft showroom are currently by<br />

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48<br />

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I N T H E N E W S<br />

Kick-start your weight loss<br />

A BALLOON PILL AND A GLASS OF WATER COULD BE THE<br />

ANSWER IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO LOSE WEIGHT THIS YEAR<br />

A slimming ‘balloon pill’ that can be taken with a<br />

glass of water has been introduced to Spire Little<br />

Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.<br />

The Elipse ‘balloon pill’, developed by Allurion,<br />

works by filling the stomach and making the patient<br />

feel full more quickly and so enables them to cut back<br />

on the amount they eat.<br />

Unlike the gastric band, sleeve or bypass there is<br />

no need for surgery, a general anaesthetic or an<br />

overnight stay in hospital.<br />

Instead a small capsule that contains the balloon<br />

is attached to a thin tube and swallowed. Once it<br />

reaches the stomach an X-ray is taken to check it is<br />

in the correct position before the balloon is released<br />

and filled with up to 550ml of saline.<br />

Designed to deflate after four months before passing<br />

naturally through the body, the Elipse is aimed at<br />

people with a BMI of 27 or above in order to help<br />

them kick-start their dieting regime.<br />

The procedure is overseen by Consultant General<br />

Surgeon Mr Amir Khan who explained: “It isn’t a<br />

miracle pill, it still needs the patient to eat less and<br />

choose their foods more wisely, but it is a great aid to<br />

those who are serious about weight loss.<br />

“The balloon will reduce the hunger pangs but the<br />

patient still has to show willpower and determination<br />

in order to get the very best results from the process.<br />

It may be that the patient is advised to stick to a<br />

liquid diet for a couple of days after taking the pill<br />

but they will then be able to move onto solid foods.<br />

“What is really important is that they use the feeling<br />

of fullness provided by the balloon to help them<br />

change their eating habits. Smaller portions and<br />

healthier options really are the key to success.”<br />

Patients lose an average of 10 to 15kgs (1.57 to 2.36<br />

stone) in 16 weeks by using the balloon.<br />

Mr Khan is offering free virtual mini consultations<br />

on Thursday, February 4 between 4pm and 6pm.<br />

Call 0121 514 7034 for more information or to<br />

make an appointment.<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com 49


B E AU T Y<br />

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep<br />

KICK-START <strong>2021</strong> WITH A RESOLUTION TO GIVE YOUR SKIN A MUCH-NEEDED NEW<br />

YEAR BOOST. WE TALK TO ROYAL FACIALIST AND FOUNDER OF HEAVEN SKINCARE<br />

DEBORAH MITCHELL ABOUT HER LATEST RANGE DESIGNED TO TACKLE SKINCARE<br />

WOES FROM THE INSIDE OUT<br />

Renowned around the world for her<br />

Heaven Skincare saviours, Deborah<br />

Mitchell has been treating countless<br />

famous faces for more than 30 years.<br />

From Tess Daley and Dannii Minogue<br />

to the Duchess of Cornwall, her client<br />

list reads like the ultimate who’s who.<br />

Her sought-after products are sold in<br />

some of the most famous hotels and<br />

spas from New York to Dubai, and<br />

she recently appeared in the Netflix<br />

documentary Un(well) showing how<br />

she makes her renowned Bee Venom<br />

Masks.<br />

Now the celebrity facialist has<br />

unveiled her latest line of defence<br />

for anti-ageing – a range of seven<br />

supplements that work in tandem<br />

with her bestselling skincare essentials.<br />

Each of the carefully selected vitamins<br />

and minerals are designed to tackle a<br />

whole host of complexion issues, from<br />

hair and nail strength to protection<br />

from free radicals.<br />

“In all of the 30 years I have spent<br />

healing and treating anti-ageing from<br />

the outside, I realised through my<br />

extensive research that many of the<br />

skin problems we suffer from are often<br />

caused by what is going on inside our<br />

bodies,” explains Deborah.<br />

“By learning how to match the needs<br />

of the skin on the outside to the needs<br />

of the skin from the inside I discovered I can quickly<br />

treat complexion issues and at the same time provide<br />

much-needed health benefits too.<br />

“As an example, if a client comes to see me because<br />

they suffer from eczema, I know it can often be<br />

blamed on a dairy intolerance or deficient vitamin<br />

absorption on the inside and an overgrowth of<br />

microbes on the outside.<br />

“Now, with the launch of my new supplements range<br />

I can recommend the correct combination for their<br />

skin: my new Inner Nettle Shoots combined with my<br />

Hydro Cleansing Milk and Nettle Venom Cream; or<br />

my Inner Bee-ing and Silver Bee Venom Mask.<br />

“Because these contain the natural amino acids and<br />

vitamins needed to help ease their eczema from the<br />

inside, they will keep their skin in great condition on<br />

the outside too.”<br />

Heaven’s new Inner Beauty supplements are priced<br />

at £37 each and are available online at<br />

heavenskincare.com and from selected Heaven<br />

salons.<br />

50 www.jaimemagazine.com


Probate and formal valuations<br />

for inheritance tax purposes<br />

Our reliable and sympathetic<br />

team can assist all executors in the<br />

administration of deceased estates<br />

From jewellery and large collections<br />

to cars, furniture and household<br />

items, we handle everything<br />

FREE<br />

jewellery, watch<br />

and silver valuations<br />

by appointment only<br />

Thursdays 9.30am-4pm<br />

at The Lichfield<br />

Auction Centre<br />

Comprehensive, bespoke<br />

clearance service and<br />

downsizing solutions<br />

We handle clearance of an entire<br />

estate from houses, bungalows and<br />

flats to offices and all other buildings<br />

We specialise in:<br />

Antique and modern jewellery<br />

Watches<br />

Gemstones<br />

Silverware<br />

Coins, medals and militaria<br />

Works of art<br />

Whisky and wine<br />

Vintage toys<br />

Stamps and ephemera<br />

Cameras and record collections<br />

Scientific equipment<br />

Antique and modern furniture<br />

Record-breaking<br />

international sales<br />

More than 3,800 bidders from<br />

all over the world joined our<br />

online auctions last month<br />

Online services available<br />

Virtual estimates, online auctions<br />

and contactless collections.<br />

Valuations and viewing by<br />

appointment only<br />

Qualified<br />

All members of our jewellery<br />

department are certified<br />

gemmologists and diamond graders<br />

Established – Professional – Transparent<br />

The Winterton family name has been synonymous<br />

with auctioneering in Staffordshire since 1864<br />

01543 251081<br />

www.richardwinterton.co.uk<br />

richardwinterton@richardwinterton.co.uk<br />

The Lichfield<br />

Auction Centre,<br />

Wood End Lane,<br />

Fradley Park<br />

WS13 8NF<br />

NAJ A4 ad_Jan_<strong>2021</strong>.indd 1 07/12/2020 16:27

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