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Enjoy Life

One of Choice’s aims is to provide ideas and inspiration to readers. Our articles on food, great value wine, recipes from around the world, enjoying your garden plus reviews and stories on books, DVDs music, films and theatre will do just that.

Recent Articles

The real cost of your wine

Barely a week goes by without my wife exclaiming after a trip to the supermarket: “Look how much packaging there is in this box.” It’s usually followed up with: “This could be half the price if it was just in a bag and not a box.” Ironically, even though she is as much a wine lover as I am, she never airs the same disparaging views while uncorking a bottle of wine. And she would never extol the virtues of a box over a bottle where wine is concerned either.

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Cooking for one

A recent survey of 1200 over-60s showed most of them didn’t trust the present government to help them through the ravages of the financial recession. According to Age UK – the merged charities Age Concern and Help the Aged – many of the respondents were taking extreme measures to cope, some of which put their health at risk.

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Baking made easy

In her new book, Annie Bell’s Baking Bible (Kyle Books, £25), food writer Annie Bell explains the techniques that produce perfect baking every time, be it sponge cakes, biscuits, brownies, tray bakes, fairy cakes, macaroons, muffins or meringues.

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Stardust Memories

In a career spanning more than 45 years Tony Palmer has developed a reputation as one of our most distinguished documentary makers, with a body of work ranging from highly acclaimed portraits of the composers Holst, Vaughan Williams and Wagner to documentaries in the field of pop, literature, sport and even space.

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Staying safe in the Summer heat: Drowning prevention

It has appealed to people to take note of simple safety messages to avoid a repeat of last summer’s tragedies when many people lost their lives cooling off in open water, not suitable for swimming. Being a grandparent often means having your grandchildren come and stay with you for a few days during the Summer holidays. During these months, it is more improtant than ever to be aware around water and make sure that your loved ones are swimming only where it is safe and suitabel to do so.

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Surprisingly Good Wholegrain Recipes: Savoury

Getting wholegrain foods such as oats, wholemeal bread and brown rice into your diet has never been easier and this selection of brand new recipes will liven up any meal time. Wholegrain foods are typically low in fat, as well as being higher in fibre to help maintain a healthy digestive system. They also add a whole lot of flavour to dishes too. This 2 part piece wil introduce you to some of the great ways to use wholegrain in both savoury and sweet dishes.

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Afternoon Tea Recipes

Doves Farm has shared three classic tea recipes for Victoria Sponge Sandwich, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Wholemeal Scones served with Rhubarb Jam Compote. Afternoon tea is a true British icon, which makes Doves Farm the perfect baking partner for the occasion. Founded in 1978, the British, family-owned organic flour and food producer celebrates 40 years of baking brilliance this year.

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Are you ready for retirement?

Many of us dream for years about retirement, yet when it turns into reality, it’s not always the paradise we expect it to be. Psychologist Linda Blair says she’s been seeing more patients recently who are having difficulty adjusting emotionally to this new phase in their life.

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Reaching out to Dementia Sufferers: Sporting Memories Network

Almost half (48 per cent) said that what would help them most to stay connected was seeing family and friends more often, and having someone to help them take part in activities and hobbies (51 per cent). The Alzheimer’s Society survey highlighted the importance of meaningful activities for those who are living with dementia.  

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End of the road for a pop icon

It has never been easy being a Simon and Garfunkel fan. I know, am one. Admitting you admired their music was not something you did in fashionable company, or at least at my boarding school. They didn’t fit the Seventies fashion for glam, disco, punk, hard rock or Eighties style over substance, and during the Nineties they seemed to disappear altogether.

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Anti-ageing Options

While I agree with many of the concerns people have about the pressure on women to look younger, I also think it’s perfectly natural to want to look as youthful as you feel inside. I see no problem with seeking to restore the natural glow of your 20s, even if that means exploiting the use of good skincare, treatments and makeup.

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Anti-ageing Options Part 2

This simple yet brilliant product lets you increase the interval between salon appointments. Just part your hair in the usual way, then brush the colour along the visible roots and temples. Ten minutes later rinse off and all grey is covered; always do a patch test first.

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The Secret to Younger Looking Eyes

DHC Rich Eye Zone Care Pack 6 masks Pamper your eyes with the DHC Rich Eye Zone Care Pack, a total eye mask treatment that will revitalise and deeply hydrate the delicate eye area. Enriched with multipeptides to support collagen, olive fruit to intensely hydrate and hyaluronic acid to protect skin’s natural barrier, the Rich Eye Zone Care Pack is a one way ticket to a smoother, more radiant-looking eye area.

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Volunteering for Nature

THE LOVE of nature can cross many barriers, including a divide of more than 90 years between the youngest and the oldest RSPB volunteers. Elizabeth Nelson is a 96-year-old nature lover who volunteers every Saturday in the visitor centre at RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk. “I am responsible for organising the pin badges and do little odd jobs around the visitor centre, like folding and preparing leaflets,” says Elizabeth, known as ‘Betty’ to her colleagues.

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Brits Embracing 'Urban Birding'

Sales of wildlife cams rise as Brits try to get closer to nature 1 in 3 admit to spying on birds and wildlife Alex Zane, Guy Garvey, Damon Albarn amongst celebrity ‘urban birders’ Affordable new tech is giving way to a new generation of 'urban birders' who are making twitching cool again.

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Here's to you Mrs Robinson

FEW FILMS have managed to capture their era as effectively as The Graduate. Released in late 1967, amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution and an ever-widening generation gap, Mike Nichols’ film came at just the right time for an America that was having to ask serious questions about itself.

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Emily Watson "I'ts such a gypsy life"

There was a time when just about the only roles in film and television available to women of a certain age were nuns, grannies, stern maiden aunts or eccentric nannies. Emily Watson is one of a generation of actresses who have proved that sexuality needn’t end with the menopause and although she’s rather more reluctant to disrobe than in her younger days, at the age of 50 she still relishes playing sexually voracious women, as she did, to great effect, in the recent TV drama Apple Tree Yard.

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Garden Expert: Soaking up the sun

July often feels like the height of summer and the holiday season. For me, a day spent in the garden enjoying glorious sunshine is as much of a holiday as an exotic beach break, with the bonus of being able to tend to plants and complete jobs around the garden.

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Studious retiree heads back to school

Archie MacDonald, a resident at MHA Auchlochan  in South Lanarkshire, shows it's not just youngsters heading back to school the September, as he continues studying for a masters in computing.

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Hawks: Up close and personal

With a whoosh of near silent wings, the Eagle Owl swooped low over the audience, heading right for me, missing by a foot on its way to perch on one side of the arena with a haughty shake of its feathers. It was the first of a series of low-level passes by various birds of prey at the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover, Hampshire,, and just one of the ways you get to see these magnificent bird up close.

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Prepare to feel ancient...

The UK's leading childcare website discovered that a fifth of children think the sound of dial up internet is a Dalek from Doctor Who, two fifths mistake an overhead projector for an x-ray machine and a quarter think a vinyl record is a Frisbee. The survey was distributed through the platform's database of parents and providers and produced some interesting and hilarious insights.

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Don't miss out on the internet age

Another round of bank branch closures has been announced in recent months. The banks' argument, as they leave customers the wrong side of the bolted front doors, is that more people are handling their banking online. It's a familiar message. Last year, the Office for National Statistics reported that 89% of all households in Britain had internet access (it was 57% 10 years ago). More than four-fifths of us (41 million people) use the internet daily or almost daily.

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Growing old is amazing

She was once known as pop's 'barefoot princess', but 50 years on from winning the 1967 Eurovision- which turned out to be, at best, a mixed blessing- Sandie Shaw is now happy to spend her time helping people in the arts cope with the pressures of fame. No one would seem to be better qualified for such a role than Sandie, who was catapulted to game at the age of 17 only to find herself, some ten years later, working as a waitress to pay off her debts.

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World' first 'wellness shed' stirs up mindfulness

Can slowly stirring a pot of steaming hot soup really calm a chaotic commute? That's the premise behind the world's first 'wellness shed' pop-up from GLORIOUS! Soups which is launching in Shoreditch on October 19th.

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Why winter shouldn't stop you: don't wait until New Year

Sarah Gazard, Senior Community Living Advisor at MHA Wellesley Court

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Writing the story of you life

Ever thought about writing your memoirs, but unsure of how to go about it? Well, I did, and I'd like to share my experience with Choice readers who are interested in chronicling their life experiences for posterity- and recording a written account of their journey through life. Towards he end of my full time employment, I found myself with time on my hands, waiting at airports as part of my global travels.

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Dame Eileen and a Crowning glory

Dame Eileen Atkins does not demur when I suggest that the sumptuous TV series The Crown, in which she plays Queen Mary, would have once been the centrepiece of the BBC schedules. That the show, which aims to tell the story of the life and reign of The Queen has been made by the Netflix streaming service, is a sign of the times, it;s reported £130 million budget being now beyond the reach of the public  broadcaster.

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85 year old Grandmother gains a PhD

Dr Anne Latto received her doctorate in Storytelling from the University of Reading, 36 years after she first graduated from the same university with an undergraduate degree in film and drama. In the years since that first achievement, the grandmother of five has since gained an MA in Film and Drama, an MPhil in Film and an MA in Cognitive Evolution.

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Jodie Whittaker: "Doctor Who is all about change"

Ever since Doctor Who returned in 2005, the announcement of a new actor to play the lead role has always been a major television event, and is year was no exception, with fans of the Time Lord having to wai until the conclusion of the Wimbledon men's final for the latest big reveal.

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Counter culture: The revival of the board game

Board games were once a vital part of a family Christmas; not only were they centrepiece of any young child's stocking, bit also an enjoyable way to while away post-turkey Christmas evenings in the company of your nearest and dearest. For a while it seemed to board game was fast becoming a thing of the past, with those battered boxes of Risk, Monopoly and Cluedo destined to spend he rest of their days marooned in the attic as the console became king.

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Interior Design: Wedding bells on a budget

Pallet Signs When we got married in April this year we had three separate pallet signs (and then half a pallet sign for directions!) which were so easy to make and I've heard of friends spending a small fortune on professionals doing it for them! Here's how it's done. You will need:  A tester pot of off-white paint or leftover white paint,

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What we really look for in retirement living

UK now has 11.8 million over 65s (Age UK) 85% of those aged 70+ prioritise adaptations to their existing home (Silk Road) Number of centenarians up 65% in past 10 years (Age UK) Cost and healthcare facilities are top priorities for retirement home living (Silk Road)

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Do you remember? Oliver!

At first sight Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist was not the most obvious choice for a thigh-slapping, high-kicking, glitzy musical. Its story of workhouse deprivation homelessness, criminality and murder would surely have had even the likes of Richard Curtis struggling to find a feelgood factor. and then there was the thorny question of antisemitism.

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Cliff Richard "I have a deeper faith now"

The past three years have been trying ones for Sir Cliff Richard. Not only was he the subject of sexual abuse allegations, but worse, was subject to the indignity of having a police search of his home relayed live on the BBC. Which rather made a mockery of that cornerstone of British justice; innocent until proven guilty.

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New Year, new beauty habits

Pick the right cleanser Your skin is only as goof as the cleanser you use. Get it right and your complexion should always  look dewy and fresh; choose the wrong cleanser and you could end up with dry, dull-looking skin or, worse still, blemish prone if bacteria and sebum are allowed o clog pores.

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Why antique jewellery is glittering

The rise in sales of antique jewellery can be seen as a knee jerk reaction to mass consumerism, with a need for products which are individual and out of the ordinary. These days women are more interested in buying good-quality iconic pieces that are one-offs and not mass-produced.

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A gentleman's guide to spring fashion

Spring is a time for new beginnings so, this year, why not bring some fresh ideas into your wardrobe? There's a commonly help misconception that older men should avoid the world of high fashion. On the contrary, however as we grow old we often become more comfortable in our own skin, and develop a better understanding of our personal taste ans style.

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BR remembered... 70 years on

Britain's railway network used to be a vast adventure playground for my group of friends during our teenage trainspotting expeditions. in the Sixties we scaled signals and bridges, climbed into goods and wagons. put coins on the tracks... it was daft and dangerous but we were young and had to find something to do during lulls between trains.

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Interior Design: Moroccan inspired drawers

Supplies:  Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint 125ml- Winter Grey Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint 125ml- Silver Rust-Oleum Finishing Wax 125ml- Silver Brush Sanding pads Old rag

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Have your cake and eat your Easter egg too!

With Easter just around the corner, Green's has launched a new baking mix that is sure to satisfy the UK's cake and chocolate lovers. The new Chocolate Egg Cake Kit offers both experienced and would be bakers all the tools required to make a range of delicious Easter treats in a matter of minutes. From mouth-watering cupcakes, muffins or loaf cake, the Chocolate Egg Cake Kit can be used to create them all.

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Craft Corner: Sweet Easter Basket

Filled with chocolates or sweets of your choice, this little basket makes a lovely Easter treat for a friend or family member. Or, for a birthday present with a personal touch, why not fill it with some mini-soaps? I’ve used some of our Sew Lovely printable papers but you can use any papers and decorations you like to put your own stamp on the project. Supplies:

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Dr Norman Croucher: The toughest summit of them all

When Norman Croucher was a teenager, he lost both legs below the knee in a railway accident.

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In your garden: June 2018

Once June arrives, long days and glorious sunshine- with perhaps a few days of rain just for good measure- make it a great time for our wildlife. Gardens will undoubtedly blossom in the summer sunshine, with borders, hanging baskets and containers spilling over with gaudy yet cheerful colour. Take a few steps out into the surrounding countryside and elder, honeysuckle and bramble will soon greet you- their branches heavy with heady, yet delicate blossom.

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Beetroot and Walnut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These tasty treats are nutty, moist and oh so creamy! Try after dinner when you fancy a little something sweet, or pop one in your lunchbox to improve your day no end. Preparation time: 25 mins Serves: 12 You’ll need: 12 cupcake cases For the cupcakes:

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Scandi-style Mules for Swollen Feet

The new Scandi-style Donna mules from Cosyfeet provide supreme comfort for swollen feet. With 100% pure wool uppers and lining, these luxurious slip-ons gently form to the shape of your foot and are soft, warm and breathable. 

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Declutter your home, and clear your mind

Is your attic, spare room or garage bursting at the seams and you're running out of room to store things? Whenever you go in, you promse yourself you'll sort out  the clutter one day soom, but somehow that day enver sawns.However, you may now be prompted into action if you know studies are showing decluttering is not only good for your mental health, it relieves stress and re-energises you as well.

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Grand Treats for Grandchildren

With school holidays under way and August stretching ahead, there are some great opportunities to spend time with grandchildren and to take them out and get them away from their computers and mobile phones. however, a new school year is not far away either, and in today's high-pressure environment grandparents can build on the holiday treats and extend their influence as role models into the new term.

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Healthy reasons to acquire a taste for olives

From simple black and green ones to marinated or stuffed, there is a Crespo olive to suit your taste buds or favourite dish. Olives are a store cupboard hero, which come to the rescue with an easy and cost-effective way to add flavour and texture to your food. Crespo’s simple ideas will inspire you to make the most of and use up a jar of olives in your everyday cooking.

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The Austerity Olympics

Everyone remembers the London Olympics of 2012… a triumph for British sport and culture, with their captivating opening ceremony and the stunning success of our athletes garlanded with almost 30 gold medals. Less well-remembered are the London Olympics 64 years earlier which were a triumph, too, in their own, much smaller way. Seventy years ago this summer, Britain came to the aid of the international sporting community to stage the summer 1948 Games – ‘the XIV Olympiad of the Modern Era’.

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Beauty: Denise Welch "I love the shape I'm in at 60"

Bubbly actress and Loose Women star Denise Welch celebrates her 60th birthday this summer, and she's looking better than ever having lost two stone. Here she reveals how she stays in shape, her skin care must-haves and why her mother's favourite perfume is now hers, too... Why do you think LighterLife has worked differently from other diets you've tried?

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Hail the grandparent aupairs

Grandparents are often the first choice for parents looking for childcare. Not only do they offer their services free of charge- which helps parents on a tight budget- the parents also appreciate the experience the older generation have when looking after their little ones.  The attitude was one of the sparks that ignited the idea behind the Granny Aupair Agency which I founded in 2010.

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Your views: Can you help?

I always enjoy reading Choice and the August issue is no exception. I particularly enjoyed Barry McLoughlin's article 'The Austerity Olympics' on the 1948 London Games. I wonder if Barry would help me to find the answer to the following. in the 100m heats, one of he athletes galloped the distance instead of normal running! He was in the outside lane and I don't think he qualified for the next round. I have seen this in the film of the Games immediately afterwards. Who was he?

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The nation's most popular cake recipes

Doves Farm has shared recipes for three of the nation’s most popular cakes; deliciously moist Chocolate Cake with a rich buttercream filling, sweet and comforting Date and Walnut Cake and Lemon Drizzle Cake with a soft sponge centre and crunchy citrus topping.

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How to take care of your hair over-50

By Trish McMorine, hairdresser at retirement living community, Auchlochan Garden Village In my job, I get to see a variety of lovely ladies and gentlemen who are all enjoying their retirement in the beautiful surroundings of the Scottish countryside. While every one of my customers is different – as are we all – there are some recurring issues that we see with our hair as we age.

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Totally Tina Tour

and comes to PETERBOROUGH – Key Theatre on Friday 9th November 2018! It’s been the UK’s official number one Tina Turner tribute for the past five years (as voted by the Agents Association of Great Britain), with a Lifetime Achievement Award under its belt and a hectic, fast-growing gig schedule right across the UK and into Europe to boot. The cast of ‘Totally Tina’ it seems, is definitely ‘better than all the rest’.

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Baking With Veg

If you love baking and brassicas, then we have some tasty new recipes for you to try! Discover Great Veg has teamed up with leading food blogger and author Kate Hackworthy of Veggie Desserts to create some delicious new ways to enjoy our favourite veg – cavolo nero, kale and spinach!

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Walking back to happiness

Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise but also one of the most effective at improving and maintaining health. It is also a great way to immerse yourself in wonderful landscapes during walking holidays at home or abroad. Research from all over the world shows that the skill we learn around our first birthday and often take for granted as we grow has a huge impact on our lives if we just put one foot in front of the other regularly.

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The rise and rise of the birthday cake

From freezer cakes and synthetic ingredients to Bake Off-inspired showstoppers and a focus on organic, vegan and free from; Food Historian Angela Clutton looks back at the history of the birthday cake and how our tastes have changed over the past 40 years to mark organic and gluten free flour producer Doves Farm’s 40th birthday. The history of the birthday cake: 1970s to now 1970s

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Interior Design: Great Gatsby Cabinet

You will need: Rust-Oleum Furniture Paint Satin Finish Carbon Rust-Oleum Metallic Furniture Paint Gold Wallpaper of your choice Wallpaper paste Replacement handles, if necessary. These were purchased from Amazon Rust-Oleum Furniture Wax Clear

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A second chance at love

With news of rising divorce rates, you might be forgiven for thinking that romance is dead – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Interior Design: Less is more in minimalist home

Nowadays, life for many can often be described as chaotic and stressful. The relentless challenge of trying to find a successful balance between family, work and social lives can leave people frazzled and in need of a place to recharge their batteries.

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Plant Power Day: 7th March 2019

Plant Power Day is back on 7th March 2019, and Alpro is calling on the nation to ‘Go Big on Plants’ and make plant-based foods the star of the show for the day. It’s as simple as bringing veggies, fruits, whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds from the side of the plate to front and centre – because this way of eating is good for us, and good for our planet… And it only takes one day to make a difference!

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Bob Dylan "Rock and Roll music wasn’t enough for me”

His name may be instantly recognisable, his musical and cultural legacy unchallenged, but for many people Bob Dylan’s music is often experienced second-hand, when his songs are recorded or performed by someone else.

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Get Sewing: Quilted pot-holder

Add a splash of colour to your kitchen with this handy pot-holder. Quick to create and a good project to challenge beginners, this potholder makes a great gift or can be created for your own home – simply choose your fabric to suit. My pot-holder uses the new Tokyo Blue fabric range from Threaders, which features a palette of cool blues complemented by bold greens and striking yellows for a beautiful contemporary finish.

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MasterChef: Classic with a Twist

With a layer of raspberry jam beneath the lemon curd and neatly piped mounds of Italian meringue on top this is a restuarant- standard take on a classic dessert? (Simon Wood) Serves: 12 Prep: 25 minutes, plus chilling Cooking: 1 hour, plus cooling Ingredients: For the filling:

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Visit Family Tree Live

In the March and April issues of Choice, we collaborated with Family Tree Magazine to offer you advice on uncovering your personal lineage. Family Tree live- the unmissably family history event of 2019- takes place in the Great Hall at London's iconic Alexandra Palace on 26th and 27th April. The brand new show is hosted by Family Tree magazine in partnership with the Federation of Family History of Societies and is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how to trace your family tree.

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Pets need a spring clean too

As spring sunlight begins to penetrate the recesses of our homes, reaching spots that remained unilluminated through winter, so the urge to have a good spring-clean comes to the fore. You will see this reflected in the natural world as well. Birds will start to re-line nests, badgers and foxes will clear out dens and sets where the young have spent the winter. For hygiene, health and a fresh start, a good spring-clean is as important for our pets as it is for ourselves. 

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Interior Design: Maximise your living space

Last month I explored minimalism in interiors, and now I’m going to do a 360-degree turn and look at maximalism as a design concept. I can’t say that this style has ever appealed to me in its entirety – too much ‘busyness’ unnerves me. However , take certain elements of the look and it can be playfully charming.

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The Vegan Revolution

You would have to have been on holiday to Mars, or trapped on a remote island, to be unaware of the rise in popularity – certainly as far as the food press is concerned – of veganism. Often termed ultra-vegetarians, those following the vegan way seek to live by a philosophy which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

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Spanish Recipes: Small is beautiful

Whether you are serving a starter before a meal, enjoying some small bites with drinks, or filling the table with multiple dishes to feast on, there is no bad time to indulge in these flavour-filled recipes, taken from Tapas: and other Spanish plates to share (Ryland Peters & Small, £9.99). Chorizo in red wine Spicy fresh chorizo, the size of regular breakfast sausages, works well in this recipe. Large quantities of paprika give the dish a rich colour and a pungent flavour.

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Beauty: Get set for spring...

Skin regeneration slows down as we get older but that doesn't mean we can't brighten and refresh out complexion after a log winter. The latest skin buffers, such as Lulu's best-selling skin care range, Time Bomb Take off Time Cleanse and Buff- £16.50 at: (www.timebomb.com)- are super-refined and can be used once or twice a week to pep up the circulation.

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Current Issue

May 2019

Profile: Claire Foy

Special: Sicily

Your Money and Your Rights

Avoid hidden holiday costs

When Mrs Thatcher made history

Finding a later life mortgage

Are you over 65 and malnourished?

Surprising things GPs can prescribe

Indian veggie recipes

Scottish Highlands drive