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Tom’s Column Feb/Mar 15

Superhero Studios Need to Look at the Present, Not the Future by Tom Beasley
In 2014, Marvel Studios announced their slate of superhero movies up until 2019, including new solo outings for Thor and the long-awaited Doctor Strange film. Their rivals DC, best known for Superman and Batman, went one better with Warner Bros. revealing their comic book plans up until 2020.

This reflects a rather odd trend in the film industry in which studios compete with each other to have the most ambitious and lengthy future strategy. It shows a remarkable and perhaps misplaced confidence on behalf of these two studios.

The whims of cinema audiences are difficult to predict, so it is impossible to know whether superhero films will still retain their popularity in five years’ time. If there’s a sudden drop in the box office fortunes of the superhero genre, then Marvel and Warner Bros. are both going to have egg on their face, with their cinematic empires collapsing around them. Planning so publicly in advance makes it very embarrassing if things go wrong.

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By |February 11th, 2015|Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column Feb/Mar 15

The Marketing Clinic Feb/Mar 15

Why You Should Love Local Advertising by Dee Blick It was the advertising legend David Ogilvy who said, “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.” If you’re advertising in a local publication like this your aim should be to increase sales. If you build an abundance of goodwill too that’s wonderful, but don’t lose sight of the fact that sales and plenty of them are the lifeblood of your business.    I’ve spent many years in advertising and can tell you from experience that local publications provide a powerful, cost effective channel through which to engage a local audience. You can attract many new customers for a modest outlay. If, despite your very best efforts, your advert fails to work there isn’t such a big dent in your budget to remind you. […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Business and Professional|Comments Off on The Marketing Clinic Feb/Mar 15

Technology Review Feb/Mar 15

Something in the Air by Gary Marshall Our sense of smell is the most powerful of all our senses – and that means we’re quick to notice if something doesn’t smell too good. Damp, pets and perfumes can all create unwanted odours in our homes, but the good news is that there are lots of devices that can clear the air. Damp is one of the most distinctive unwanted odours, and it can be serious: damp can cause respiratory problems, especially in young children and the elderly. It’s usually caused by inadequate ventilation, over-enthusiastic showering or drying clothes indoors, especially in winter, and you can banish it with a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier sucks moisture out of the air and puts it in a tank, and some models can be installed permanently with a drain tube to take the water outside. Don’t waste your time with little gel-pack dehumidifiers: electric ones can cost as little as £50, although for a typical home you’d be better off with one of the very many models costing around £100. Those ones are capable of handling 10 litres of water before it’s time to empty them; smaller, cheaper ones need emptied much more frequently. […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Regular Features|Comments Off on Technology Review Feb/Mar 15

Mind over Matters Feb/Mar 15

Are You an Impostor? by Richard Nicholls
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “One of these days everyone will find out that I’m not as clever as they think I am,” then you’re in good company.

Because there isn’t a successful person in the world that doesn’t, at some point, experience what’s often referred to as “Impostor Syndrome”. A self-doubt that feeds a belief that you’re actually nobody special and that any achievements you’ve had were nothing more than through luck, rather than through ability.

The reason for this is, unless you are a total narcissist, we find it very hard to see when we are performing at our best. There is usually a big difference with being the best we can be and being the best in the world, but because we tend to look at others to compare our achievements, and only with those who are the best in the world, we can easily overlook our own achievements.

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By |February 11th, 2015|Regular Features|Comments Off on Mind over Matters Feb/Mar 15

Remarkable Relationships Feb/Mar 15

Do Your Values Match? by Jessica McGregor Johnson Good relationships are built around values, which are your internal moral code. I say internal because values cannot be imposed upon us, they are what feels right in our life. You know when one of your values is being transgressed – by you or another – because it simply does not feel good. Think of a time in your relationship when you felt things were not alright. What was happening? Most likely it was a value of yours that was not being honoured. We all have our own values, often defining values is one of the first things that I do with a new client because it is so key to feeling fulfilled in life. […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Family and Pets|Comments Off on Remarkable Relationships Feb/Mar 15

Recipe Peppered Rib Eye Steaks Feb/Mar 15

Peppered Rib Eye Steaks with Red Wine Glaze Treat the one you love on Valentine’s Day, or your Mum on Mother’s Day, to succulent pan-fried steak with a luxurious sweet red wine sauce. Serves 2 Ready in 20 minutes   150g baby new potatoes 2 tsp black peppercorns 2 x 250g rib eye steaks, trimmed of excess fat 2 tsp olive oil 3 tbsp redcurrant jelly 3 tbsp red wine 1 tsp cornflour blended with 1tbsp cold water 15g butter 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley Salt & Pepper Steamed baby carrots, mange tout and peas, to serve […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Food and Drink|Comments Off on Recipe Peppered Rib Eye Steaks Feb/Mar 15

On Your Plot Feb/Mar 15

Now is the Time to go Undercover
It’s still pretty chilly during February and March, but planting seedlings under glass (or plastic) can give you a great start for the season ahead. A bit of time and money invested now in a polytunnel or greenhouse will give you benefits for years to come. Can’t wait for spring to come? There are plenty of vegetables that can be started off indoors now.

The days are getting a little longer, green shoots are starting to appear and we’re all just itching to get out in the garden now. Just one problem – it’s still likely to be cold! Extremes in weather are typical for this month so even if we do have a warmer spell I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to start sowing seeds outdoors. It’s at this time of year that having some undercover growing space is a real boon – not least because it’s so much more of a pleasure working in a protected environment, basking in the glory of those few rays of sun, than it is feeling a gale force wind that seems as if it’s come straight from the Arctic! If you don’t have a greenhouse, polytunnel or cold frame then why not think about investing in one now? Get it built in February and you can get a head start on many plants for the season to come.

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By |February 11th, 2015|Home and Gardens|Comments Off on On Your Plot Feb/Mar 15

Motoring Article Feb/Mar 15

Auto Biographies Hyundai i30 by Tim Barnes-Clay  www.carwriteups.co.uk @carwriteups If looks could kill then you’ve got no worries if you drive the Hyundai i30 Tourer. Put it this way; the car’s practical, but it’s no oil painting. Harsh of me? Probably. And let’s face it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t look like a bulldog chewing a wasp, but it has a bland, characterless presence, especially from behind. The ‘face’ of the South Korean produced model is only saved by the smart LED daytime driving lamps. Enough of my shallow thoughts about the i30’s appearance, let’s take a deeper journey into what the motor is all about. Like it’s slightly older hatchback sibling, the latest generation Hyundai i30 Tourer, launched two years ago, offers excellent levels of comfort, refinement and efficiency. What’s more, the car adds a greater load-carrying capability to the i30’s overall package. Space is amongst the best in the class, with the Tourer boasting a larger luggage capacity than the majority of its key rivals. […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Motoring and Travel|Comments Off on Motoring Article Feb/Mar 15

Interiors Column Feb/Mar 15

How to Create Romantic Style at Home by Katherine Sorrell Who wouldn’t fall in love with romantic style? Feminine, delicate and oh-so pretty, this is a timeless look that will work in all styles of home, from a bijoux city apartment to a grand country pile, says Katherine Sorrell. Make your home a haven from everyday worries with a romantic decorating style that takes you worlds away from the busy bustle of modern life. It’s a look that is eternally charming and appealing, pretty as a picture, soft and dreamy and completely irresistible. The first ingredient? Sumptuous fabrics, of course. Think lacey trims around the edges of pillowcases, napkins or cushions, or even entire panels (especially vintage or antique) hung across a window or thrown over a bed. Sheers are also perfect for this look. Employ organza, chiffon, tulle, georgette and voile in opulent swathes and gathers, and layer them with crisp cottons and linens for interest and appeal. Since how things feel is just as important as how they look, add some deliciously soft and tactile fabrics such as angora, mohair or cashmere, or perhaps warm and snuggly wool or felt. Choose floral patterns that look as if they’re worn or faded (definitely not digitally printed or modern in style) – you just can’t beat classics such as roses, hydrangeas, peonies and the like, especially when they’re hand-drawn or block-printed. Decorative details are important, too: embroidery, borders, ruffles and scalloped edgings will enhance even the plainest of fabrics, and since a little goes a long way there is no need to break the bank to achieve the desired effect. […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Home and Gardens|Comments Off on Interiors Column Feb/Mar 15

Gardening with Pippa Greenwood Feb/Mar 15

Preparing For Warmer Weather The combination of the poor weather in February and the very fact that gardens tend to be at their least appealing this month, means the chances are yours is receiving nothing much more than a fair helping of neglect at the moment. But spring isn’t far away so get your gardening gloves on for a bit of preparation. Start by clearing up any remaining fallen leaves, broken twigs. Twigs and woody debris are best binned or burned or perhaps even heaped up in the corner of the garden to act as a sheltering spot for wildlife, but fallen leaves, and the top growth of herbaceous perennials, can be added to the compost heap.  When it comes to tackling herbaceous or flower borders, don’t make things look too clean and tidy, as you may well cut down on the protection that faded top-growth can provide. I tend to leave most of the remains of herbaceous plants in place until spring, but the most ugly, straggly or unkempt bits could certainly be cleared up now. Keep a particular look out for slugs and snails and collect them up while they are snoozing! […]

By |February 11th, 2015|Home and Gardens|Comments Off on Gardening with Pippa Greenwood Feb/Mar 15