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Tom’s Column Aug/Sept 2014

Bleating About ‘British Values’ Will Accomplish Nothing
Two words have played a huge part in political discourse recently – “British values”. Education Secretary Michael Gove has expressed desire for schools to “actively promote” these values in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, in which concerns were raised about hardline Muslims influencing schools in Birmingham.

David Cameron has also spoken out in favour of Gove’s proposal, suggesting that the signing of the Magna Carta should be central to the History curriculum. There’s a certain irony to that, given that Cameron’s knowledge of the 13th century document was shown to be rather shaky when he was questioned on a talk show in America!

On paper, the notion of infusing education with “British values” actually sounds honourable enough. Students absolutely should be taught about the fundamental principles of this country and the historical steps that made the country what it is today. However, the terminology is a bit of a red herring when no one can actually define what “British values” are.


By |August 15th, 2014|Regular Features|Comments Off on Tom’s Column Aug/Sept 2014

Technology Review Aug/Sept 2014

Smart Time to Buy a Smartphone? Smartphones have changed the way we work and play, and even the cheapest ones are incredibly powerful. Phones such as Apple’s iPhone 5S, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Motorola’s superbly cheap Moto E deliver lots of bang for your buck – but is this the right time to buy one? The short answer is: that depends on what you want. If you’ve got to have the latest, greatest technology then it’s worth keeping an eye on the calendar. Apple tends to bring out new iPhones every September, so there’s no point in buying the iPhone 5S when the iPhone 6 is imminent. A Samsung Galaxy S5 is a safer bet, though, because Samsung’s flagship phones usually come out in the spring. It’s worth checking out sites such as techradar.com to see what’s incoming: there’s nothing more annoying than buying something cutting edge, only to see it superseded a few weeks later. […]

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Mind over Matters Aug/Sept 2014

Happiness by Richard Nicholls
It’s something that we all strive to achieve – isn’t it?

In fact, the Government recently realised that GDP is no longer a viable method of measuring a country’s success. Research has already shown that the wealthier a country gets the more the contentment of its citizens begins to drop. As David Myers, Professor of Psychology at Hope College in Michigan, once said, “Thanks to our capacity to adapt to ever greater fame and fortune, yesterday’s luxuries can soon become today’s necessities and tomorrow’s relics.”

This may well be down to what is called our happiness ‘set point’. This is our genetic set point that is given to us at birth. But does that mean that we are destined for misery if we have inherited Granny’s miserable attitude gene?

It would appear that this is not the case because Granny may well determine only half of our set point. According to research at The University Of California 50% of our happiness depends on genetic stuff, 10% depends on our environment and 40% is changeable by what they described as ‘intentional activities’.


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Recipe Beef & Sweet Potato Curry Aug/Sept 2014

Beef and Sweet Potato Curry This tasty beef curry has a wonderful mildly spiced coconut sauce and is perfect to serve when entertaining friends and family. Serve with natural yogurt and a cooling shredded carrot, tomato and cucumber salad. Serves 4 Ready in 50 minutes   1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped 2 tsp Thai green curry paste 2 tbsp sunflower oil 450g thick sirloin steaks, trimmed of fat and cubed 400ml can reduced fat coconut milk 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks 100g green beans, trimmed 4 tbsp fresh chopped coriander Boiled rice, to serve   […]

By |August 14th, 2014|Food and Drink|Comments Off on Recipe Beef & Sweet Potato Curry Aug/Sept 2014

Gardening with Pippa Greenwood Aug/Sept 2014

Grow Your Own Take-Away We all know that home-cooked food is better for us than a stream of takeaways, but then we all deserve a little self-indulgence from time to time. So why not save yourself the guilt (and some cash) and grow your own Chinese takeaway right here in your own garden? No I haven’t turned cookery writer, but you can easily grow some of those tasty and crunchy vegetables that make the backbone of many a Chinese stir-fry… and the great thing is that oriental vegetables do well from late summer sowings, so it’s off to the garden centre (not the take-away) you go! Bean sprouts are so easy to grow you could almost do it with your eyes shut. The common types are sprouted mung-beans, and you can either buy packets of seed or a small packet of the beans themselves from your local health food store. They’ll come with easy cultivation instructions and before you know it you’ll have the beginnings of a stir-fry. […]

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Interiors Column Aug/Sept 2014

Choosing and Using Paint by Katherine Sorrell A quick lick of paint on the walls and woodwork will brighten and beautify any home, inside and out. But which type of paint should you choose? Our interiors expert Katherine Sorrell is on hand to help. Indoor walls and ceilings Easy to apply and available in thousands of different colours, emulsion is ideal for walls and ceilings, whether you’re painting bare plaster (simply water the first coat down a little), repainting with a different colour, or covering a textured wallpaper. Emulsion is always water-based, which means it is quick-drying, low-odour and cleans off the brush easily. Choose from a flat matt, standard matt or silk (softly shiny) finish. Generally, the higher the sheen level, the easier the surface will be to keep clean, but the more any imperfections will show up.   Non-drip emulsion, with a jelly-like consistency, is perfect for painting ceilings. Water-based eggshell has a low shine and provides a more durable, wipeable surface – useful for walls in hard-working areas such as hallways or playrooms. For kitchens and bathrooms, consider specialist paints that are scrubbable and resistant to both moisture and steam. Some contain a fungicide and can help with condensation problems.   […]

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Frank Continues to Make a Difference Aug/Sept 2014

Frank Beresford is a local Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for the Despard Road and Holmes Drive area of Eastern Green in Coventry, and he recently became a Regional Finalist for the National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Awards 2014. Frank was nominated for the ‘Community Thank You Award’ by local resident Serena Morgan, who explained how Frank has frequently gone above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ since he set up the local Neighbourhood Watch for the area when he retired 15 years ago. At first, he encouraged his neighbours to attend meetings which he would chair, along with Support Officers, Police, Councillors and Wardens. Anti-social behaviour in the area was significantly reduced back then, and this is no longer a problem in the neighbourhood. The nomination went on to explain how Frank’s caring nature and genuine concern for others has really made a difference over the years. Frank called on his next door neighbour one day, where he happened to witness a major heart attack. Thanks to Frank’s intervention and quick thinking the paramedics were able to save this gentleman’s life, and he enjoyed a further 12 years. The gentleman’s family are eternally grateful to Frank. […]

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Kenilworth & District Churches Flower Festival 2014

Kenilworth & District Churches will hold a Grand Flower Festival on 10th, 11th and 12th October. Participating churches will be open to view from 10am in the morning until 4pm in the afternoon on Friday and Saturday, and from 12pm to 4pm on Sunday. In addition to floral displays, some schools in Kenilworth will be involved in supporting activities, such as art and painting displays and competitions. Some churches will also serve refreshments to visitors. This will be a major civic event supported by our MP, Town Council, Mayor, and Churches Together in Kenilworth & District (CTKD). The theme is “Harvest of the World” which is appropriate for the Harvest season in which the festival will take place.  […]

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Money Matters Aug/Sept 2014

Going to University? Here’s How to Manage Your Money by Ann Haldon If you are off to university in September, your head will be full of worries and excitement about living independently, studying, and how to manage life in a new city. It might be a little overwhelming at times, but with forethought and planning, you can organise your money and get to grips with the financial side of life. Managing money is often the biggest concern for new undergraduates, but the trick is to know your figures, set a basic budget where you can, and stick to it. One of the first decisions to make though, is which student bank account to open. Student Bank Accounts Most of the top UK banks operate specific accounts for undergraduates. In general, they offer 24-hour online banking, mobile apps, and interest-free overdrafts subject to eligibility. […]

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Nuneaton Choral Society Aug/Sept 2014

Nuneaton Choral Society launched its 2014 season in a grand way. At St John’s Methodist Church on Saturday 17th May […]

By |August 13th, 2014|Out & About|Comments Off on Nuneaton Choral Society Aug/Sept 2014