Website for the over 60s  January 2017
Winter Health

 Food and Drink
 Shopping & Gifts
Travel & Holidays
 Entertainment & Travel
Competitions & Letters


 Chat and Socialise
 Crafts & Hobbies

Retirement Living
 Beauty & Hair Styles
Fashion & Accessories
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Homes & Gardens
 News & Book Reviews

 Our Friends


Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win Carcassonne Winter Edition

Win Carcassonne Winter Edition

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Esdevium Games to offer two lucky readers the chance to win Carcassonne Winter Edition.

Carcassonne, the famous French city, known for its imposing fortifications, established during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages is now covered in a thin layer of Winter snow.

players must develop the area around Carcassonne and make it into a thriving city

Just like the original game, players must develop the area around Carcassonne and make it into a thriving city.

Knights patrol the cities, farmers are trying to feed the nation, monks are praying in the monasteries and the stealthy highwaymen travel on the roads behind the city walls.

Enlist the help of the friendly Gingerbread Man to guide you through the cold Winter

But you can enlist the help of the friendly Gingerbread Man to guide you through the cold Winter as long as you use him wisely.

Players will place their followers onto the roads and into the cities, monasteries and fields. But they must place their tokens wisely and position their tiles effectively to gain the most points required to win the game.

Players track their progress using their coloured markers on the scoreboard

Players track their progress using their coloured markers on the scoreboard as play commences. The player with the highest points after the final tile has been played is the winner.

Carcassonne Winter Edition is recommended for ages 13 and up. Suitable for 2 to 5 players. Price is £32.99.

Carcassonne Winter Edition

Carcassonne Winter Edition is available to buy from

For Your Chance to Win

   Just tell us which
 friendly character in
Carcassonne Winter
    Edition can help
  guide you through
    the cold Winter?

a) Snow Man
b) Candy Man
c) Lollipop Man
d) Gingerbread Man

  To Enter the Competition

Tell us which friendly character in Carcassonne Winter Edition can help guide you through the cold Winter? Then send in your answer, together with your full name, postal address and telephone number by clicking on the Sixtyplusurfers link below:

* Please label your entry
Carcassonne  Competition

* This competition is open to
our UK readers only


    Restoration and
  Conservation Tour
 at Blenheim Palace

Behind the Scenes at Blenheim Palace

Discover the real 'Behind the Scenes' at Blenheim Palace, in a fascinating limited edition new tour for 2017. 'Restoration & Conservation' will be the theme of the guided tours which will begin in the New Year as part of the extended opening season experience offered to visitors at the Oxford World Heritage Site.

The 'Restoration & Conservation' tour will be exclusively available from 9th January - 8th February 2017, running twice per day excluding Sundays. The new tours will tie in to the annual deep clean of Blenheim Palace which will now be on full to visitors during this period. The tour will give an in-depth look into what is being done in each of the State Rooms.

The new tours will look at two very important aspects of running a 300 year old Palace, including restoring a piece of art, building or tapestry to its original condition, as well as the preservation and repair of the historical and cultural site and its artefacts. The tour will also examine the theme of renovation, exploring how Blenheim Palace must also modernise and remain as a comfortable family home and appealing to visitors.

From the continuing restoration of the 'Capability' Brown Cascades and Bladon dams, work which will total approximately £2 million when completed to keeping the Palace safe for its inhabitants and visitors, the tour will look at which projects are undertaken, when and why.

The fascinating tour will also look at the most impactful projects including The Eyes in 1928. Painted for the 2nd wife of the 9th Duke, Gladys Deacon, these have a great visual impact on visitors. Exposure to the elements over 80 years had caused the painting and plaster work to degrade to a point where they were barely visible.

From clocks to paintings each piece of work often requires specialist and niche attention, with specialists sought from all over the world to complete the painstaking tasks of restoring priceless pieces of history.

Specialists have been sought from all over the world to restore the priceless pieces of history

The job of cleaning the China collection used to fall to the 10th Duchess and her unfortunate administrator, Archie Illingworth – he used to dread the call, 'Mr Illingworth, today we are going to clean the China!' The Duchess would wash the China and it was Archie's responsibility to dry it.

One of the recent renovations is the Bouchain Tapestry, the priceless 18th century tapestry depicting one of Britain's most important military victories is 25ft wide and almost 15 feet high. The giant wall hanging is made of wool and silk and was woven in the Brussels workshop of the Flemish weaver, Judocus de Vos.

Part of a set of 10, the tapestries are the most accurate and detailed contemporary records that exist of the campaign, not least because the 1st Duke, John Churchill, provided accurate battle plans and portraits of the principal characters. After being painstakingly removed from the walls of the Palace's Second State Room, the tapestry was carefully rolled up before being transported back to the city it was originally created in for renovation. It took a year to completely renovate!

Blenheim Palace

From keeping the rain out, Blenheim Palace has over 7 acres of roof, to protecting ceremonial robes, the Marlborough;s Coronation Robes were beginning to deteriorate in the sunlight, there is must to learn and lots of exciting facts to discover.

To visit the Palace, Park and Garden an entrance ticket is required. Prices are Adult £24.90, Concession £19.90, Child £13.90.

For details visit

    R.S. Hispaniola
     has New Menu

R.S. Hispaniola

Leading River Thames sightseeing operator City Cruises has relaunched the R.S. Hispaniola with a new beautifully British menu.

Featuring delicious dishes made with fresh, local produce from all corners of Great Britain and a range of appetising British wines, beers and cocktails, the menu embodies the very best food from the UK and will tantalise the taste buds of those aboard. If alcohol isn't the chosen tipple, passengers can sip on a selection of tasty teas in true British fashion.

A British company through and through, London-based City Cruises has continuously strived to support the UK, from building ships in UK dockyards to hosting the popular Cultural Cruises that showcased the very best of British culture. The new menu on-board the R.S. Hispaniola will continue to support these core values by providing its guests with a hearty British dining experience.

Notable items on the menu include the lamb shank shepherd's pie, made with succulent Welsh lamb and served with glazed potatoes and braised baby vegetables

Notable items on the menu include the lamb shank shepherd's pie, made with succulent Welsh lamb and served with glazed potatoes and braised baby vegetables, and the roasted gurnard fillet infused with London Pride ale and served with capers, juicy tomatoes and charred broccoli.

The Best of British menu gives visitors quality British dining in England's shining capital city. Moored at Embankment, the ship is in prime position opposite the London Eye, giving guests an iconic London backdrop as they tuck into a delightful British feast.

The rebrand comes following the successful partnership with beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics, which saw the ship transformed into a pretty-in-pink paradise featuring an on-board brow bar, illusionary afternoon tea and fun fitness classes.

Enjoy a delicious cocktail on board the R.S. Hispaniola

On the new menu, chef Glen Banks says, “Over the past year I have seen a noticeable decline in restaurants using locally sourced produce. My vision with the rebranded menu is to make diners aware of the truly unbeatable quality that comes with using the very best local produce available.

“The new menu features classically British dishes with my own personal twists to provide warm, flavoursome combinations that are perfect for diners as we approach the winter season.”

For more information and to book visit

Or call 0207 740 0490.

  Rare Plant Saved
   from Extinction
   by Eden Project

Eden Project scientists Olly Mawson, Fern Carroll-Smith and Katie Treseder get ready to plant the Lizard junipers

Eden Project scientists (left to right)
   Olly Mawson, Fern Carroll-Smith
       and Katie Treseder get ready
         to plant the Lizard junipers

One of the rarest plants in the country has been helped to regain a strong hold by a team of scientists and horticulturists from the Eden Project and Natural England.

The Lizard juniper (Juniperus communis ssp. hemisphaerica) is a subspecies found in only one location in the country on Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula.

Just six years ago, the population had dwindled to only 13 plants in the wild. With so few plants, the subspecies was at risk from being wiped out by a wildfire or grazing animals so Eden and Natural England took cuttings and started growing new plants at Eden’s nursery near Pentewan.

Eden Project scientist, Olly Mawson planting a Lizard Juniper

Eden Project scientist, Olly Mawson
           planting a Lizard Juniper

Recently, nearly 200 of these Eden-grown junipers were planted in a secret location on the peninsula near to where the existing wild population grow, to establish a new colony.

Protected by an electric fence, the new juniper plantation is the culmination of six years’ work and will hopefully result in a wild population that will thrive again.

Even though the plants are now in the ground, the project doesn’t stop here. The Eden team are aiming to grow more plants from seed collected from the Lizard, with the aim of introducing these to the wild too.

Nicky Brooking, an Eden Project horticulturalist who works at the project's nursery near Pentewan planting a Lizard Juniper

   Nicky Brooking, an Eden Project
    horticulturist who works at the
   project’s nursery near Pentewan
          planting a Lizard Juniper

Mike Maunder, Eden’s Director of Life Sciences says, “Eden is delighted to be working with Natural England to preserve this highly threatened tree.

“This project exemplifies an integrated approach to plant conservation that combines our horticultural resources with on-site management in the wild. Working with a range of partners, we look forward to continuing to play a significant role in the conservation of threatened plants from the south west of England.”

Steve Townsend, Natural England’s Lizard reserve manager says, “Although still incredibly rare, the Lizard juniper is a little safer today with 200 new strong young junipers planted in the wild. What happens next is up to nature.

“We won’t be acting as gardeners, these plants are hardy enough to survive and thrive on the national nature reserve. The natural partnership of Eden expertise and Natural England’s conservation team has enabled us to safe guard one of the UK’s rarest plants.”

Junipers are conifers which can vary widely in size, although the Lizard juniper is a low spreading shrub. Juniper berries are most notably used to flavour gin but they are also used in some northern European cookery.

For more information about the Eden Project click on


  Gate House Coniston
  Achieves 5 Star Visit
       England Award

Gate House, Coniston in the Lake District

Following a year of major refurbishment works Gate House, Coniston in the Lake District has achieved a 5 star Visit England Award.

This magnificent Georgian property underwent a complete transformation and now holds pride of place within the Coppermines accommodation portfolio. It is with this latest accolade that we wish to introduce you to this remarkable home. Nestled between the pretty Lakeland village of Coniston & the striking Coppermines Valley, this spacious retreat, sleeping 8 promises a luxurious and idyllic escape.

A bedroom at Gate House, Coniston in the Lake District

Historically Gate House had early associations with the family who developed the 19th century Coppermines, and was the home in the early 20th century to the famous lakes artist Alfred Heaton Cooper - who, at that time, renamed it 'Sondheim'. Today Gate House is a beautiful home of the highest quality standards.

Whilst improvements have been made, the outstanding historical features have been carefully preserved, allowing those who cross the threshold to take a luxurious step back in time. The house enjoys a peaceful situ and delightful aspects to open fields & bubbling becks surrounding.

The stylish kitchen at Gate House, Coniston in the Lake District

Solace can be found on the aesthetically pleasing Lakeland slate patio, where birdsong and morning sun breaking through the trees can be appreciated.

Inside comforts include three comfortable reception rooms complete with wood burning stoves, sumptuous king sized beds and roll top baths. In essence Gate House is a historical home which has been lovingly transformed. An idyllic base for those seeking luxurious country comforts.

Enjoy a glass of wine on the patio at Gate House, Coniston in the Lake District

A recent review said, “What a delightful place to stay. The property has everything you could ever ask for. The bedrooms are beautiful. The bathrooms are amazing. The kitchen has that wow factor. The property is very warm and welcoming. The patio area around the back too is out of this world, a perfect place to spend time with a large glass of wine listening to the beck.

“The property is perfectly placed near all amenities and is set in a very quiet location. I couldn't have asked for anything more or better. I highly recommend Gate House it's the best place to stay in Coniston.”

For details visit

  Dangers of Driving
     in Winter Sun

The dangers of driving on a sunny day

While any amount of sunshine is welcomed at this time of year, the glaring low winter sun is taking no prisoners. In 2015 dazzling sun was a factor in over 2,500 crashes including 17 fatalities.

Even though we have many tools that aid in protecting us from the glare, we often forget to use them. Richard Gladman from IAM RoadSmart’s advices on how to stay safe on the road with the glare of the sun

· Keep your windscreen clean both inside and out. Dirt or salt residue will magnify the effect of the sun

· On the outside check for chips or cracks, replace worn wiper blades and make sure your washer bottle is kept well topped up with good quality screen fluid strong enough to avoid freezing

· Keep a cloth or chamois to wipe away the dirty film that builds up on the inside due to screen heating and condensation

· Use your sun visor. It may sound pretty standard but a surprising number of people forget

· Invest in polarized sunglasses and remember to take a rest. Your eyes will strain quickly if you are squinting

· Slow down and leave extra space between you and the driver ahead if you are dazzled. This will give you more time to regain full control and assess the situation.

Richard says, “Low winter sun may not deliver a useful tan but a clear view of the road ahead is vital if you are going to get through the winter as safely.”

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website

News & Book Reviews

Golf and the Sixtyplusurfer

Enjoy a round of golf at the Hever Castle Golf Club

   A Match Made in Heaven

Steve Clayton, Membership Manager of the Hever Castle Golf Club, recently spoke to us about the importance of the 'Sixtyplusurfer' in the golf world. As part of his role Steve keeps a close eye on trends in the market, particularly pertaining to membership: who’s joining and why?

“Broadly speaking, membership is stable across UK golf clubs yet there remains one demographic which is enjoying considerable growth - the Senior Golfer.”

Enjoy a round of golf at the Hever Castle Golf Club

Steve went on to explain, “This very much reinforces my own experiences at Hever; we enjoy busy weekend mornings where the ‘Nine to Fivers’ enjoy their weekend round but during the week it is our retirees who keep both course and clubhouse busy.

“Many of our older golfers enjoyed a full and successful working life and - dare I say it - have finely tuned competitive instincts; golf gives them the perfect opportunity to fulfil these needs during their retirement.”

The Health Benefits of Golf

Enjoy a walk, fresh air and camaraderie at the Hever Castle Golf Club

A good walk, fresh air and camaraderie are all key reasons people engage in golf, but recent studies have highlighted that the benefits extend beyond this.

Dr Andrew Murray, from the physical activity for health research centre at Edinburgh University says, "We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy, has mental health benefits and can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.

"Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth.”

The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and is part of the Golf and Health Project, which is led by the World Golf Foundation.

The Ideal Members – Senior Golfers

Enjoy a round of golf at the Hever Castle Golf Club

The relationship between the retired golfer and their golf club is ‘symbiotic’ with the club benefiting greatly as Seniors are often active during ‘off peak’ times. Much effort is put into encouraging older golfers to join, no matter their golfing background.

Steve Clayton says, “Many barriers to entry have now been widely removed from golf clubs and the days of waiting lists, joining fees and elaborate admission procedures have largely disappeared. However, there is no doubt that the game itself remains a formidable challenge to those coming to it in later life.

“Yet this is also part of the appeal; the game is quick to learn but difficult to master and even someone coming to golf in their 60s may have upwards of 20 years to perfect their game!”

The Challenges for Golf Clubs

Enjoy a round of golf at the Hever Castle Golf Club

Golf, without doubt, has many challenges to deal with both in the present day and in the future. With the ‘core’ of its membership facing demanding work and family commitments it is vital that clubs embraced those who have more time to play and can benefit the most from Club Membership, ensuring they receive a warm welcome and are provided with great facilities.

The team at Hever Castle Golf Club take this challenge seriously, with three Nine Hole loops of varying playing and walking difficulties available, first class practice facilities, ‘Seniors only’ competitions and matches, as well as a warm and welcoming Clubhouse aimed at attracting both new and established Senior Golfers alike.

Hever Castle Golf Club

Steve concludes by saying, “Perhaps most important of all is our attitude. With people living and being active for longer, the 'Sixty Plus Golfer' may well be the ‘future’ of golf and it is only right that we accord you the recognition you deserve.”

Hever Castle Golf Club is located near Edenbridge in Kent and is part of the Hever Castle Estate. The club offers a range of membership options to suit a variety of needs. The Astor Bar & Restaurant in the Clubhouse provides a delicious array of food and drinks, with a Sunday Carvery once a month.

Hever Castle

For further information about the Hever Castle Golf Club please visit the website by clicking on

Or call Steve Clayton on 01732 701004 to chat about membership options.

What's New in
London for 2017

Take a trip to London in 2017

Take a trip to London in 2017 and visit some of the fabulous landmarks, galleries, museums and exhibitions. Here are a few of our favourites.

125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes publication

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was published in 1892; the book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887. Now a popular TV series, London is almost a character in itself in the Sherlock stories and it's hard to imagine the detective living anywhere else. Explore the city as Sherlock did and visit some of his favourite haunts.

Start with a visit to Sherlock and Watson's famous address, 221B Baker Street. While it doesn't actually exist, the exterior of their flat as seen in the series is shot in this quieter west London road, 25 minutes' walk from Baker Street, at 187 North Gower Street. Other destinations sure to be of interest to Sherlock fans include, The Sherlock Holmes Museum, a Grade II-listed building devoted to the detective. It features a recreation of his sitting room and a gift shop. The Sherlock Homes Pub in Westminster is stuffed with memorabilia, including Dr Watson's old service revolver and his favourite food, Cumberland sausages.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Closed since August 2016, the Estorick Collection will reopen early in 2017 following a major refurbishment, presenting new displays of the permanent collection, and a number of exhibitions throughout the year. The Estorick Collection brings together some of the finest and most important works created by Italian artists during the first half of the twentieth century and is Britain's only gallery devoted to modern Italian art.

The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum is London's newest heritage attraction. Located in Phoenix Place Clerkenwell, it will open in the spring. It will reveal the surprising and curious history of Britain's earliest social network; the post. With five interactive zones, visitors will be led through five centuries of world-class curiosities, treasures and artefacts, providing a very different and often unseen view of a service that was involved in the majority of significant world events.

Visitors will explore how the postal service's innovation and ingenuity changed the way we communicate forever, and paved the way for the instant, digital communications of today. At the heart of this, is an insight to the people who worked for, and whose lives were changed by this indispensable service, since its introduction in the 1500s.

Nordic Matters, Southbank Centre

A year-long festival of Nordic art and culture starts on 13th January and features music, dance, theatre, visual arts, participation, talks and debates, and gastronomy. A particular emphasis will be placed on the idea of play fostering curiosity and creativity, for people of all ages but especially children and young people. Moving beyond popular perceptions of 'Nordic Noir' the programme will embed Nordic culture and artists in Southbank Centre's year-long artistic offer, and provide a platform to some of the more 'hidden voices' from Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands.

Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London, V&A

V&A, London

The exhibition takes place from 14th January - 2nd April and will explore the role and lasting impact of Lockwood Kipling, an influential but largely unknown figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. Structured around Kipling's biography as artist, writer, teacher and conservationist, the exhibition is directly associated with the origin and history of the V&A and the scope of the objects in its collections. It will consider Kipling's collecting and curatorial practices in the Bombay, Lahore and South Kensington Museums and the influence of 19th century arts education. The exhibition will also mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of Modern India and Pakistan.

Robots - Science Museum of London

Featuring a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research labs, this exhibition takes place from 8th February - 3rd September. This exhibition will enable visitors to discover the cultural, historical and technological context of humanoid robots. Visitors will be able to interact with some of the 12 working robots on display. Among many other highlights will be an articulated iron manikin from the 1500s, Cygan, a 2.4m tall 1950s robot with a glamorous past, and one of the first walking bipedal robots.

David Hockney - Tate Britain

David Hockney, one of the most popular and influential British artists of the twentieth century, returns to Tate Britain from 9th February - 29th May, for his most comprehensive exhibition yet. The show gathers together an extensive selection of his most famous works celebrating achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades.

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, The National Gallery

Guido Cagnacci (1601-1663) was born in Emilia Romagna but travelled widely throughout Italy and settled in Vienna for the last five years of his life. An exceptional loan will see the exhibition of Cagnacci's masterpiece The Repentant Magdalene in the National Gallery, which has not been on display in Britain for more than thirty years.

This is a major loan from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, which will enable visitors to appreciate Cagnacci's astonishing naturalism and the characteristic sensuality of his paintings, in what is unquestionably the greatest painting he ever produced. The exhibition takes place from 15th February - 21st May.

Places of the Mind: British Watercolour Lanscapes, 1850-1950, British Museum

This exhibition takes place from 23rd February - 27th August and will display a selection of stunning works from the British Museum's rich collection of Prints and Drawings, over half of which have never previously exhibited or published, to examine the ways artists interpreted landscape on paper during the Victorian and early Modern period. It is the first exhibition to focus on landscape drawing during this era and explores the idea that each work is a construct of the mind and imagination of the artist - an attempt to convey not merely the physical properties of a landscape but its sense of place.

America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s, Royal Academy of Arts 

Following the devastating impact of the Great Depression, brought about by the Wall Street Crash, America entered the 1930s in flux; not even art was immune to the major challenges facing the nation. During this period, artists sought to capture changes in mass urbanisation, industrialisation and immigration.

This exhibition takes place from 25th February - 4th June and will showcase 45 iconic works from the period, drawn from collections across the USA, many of which have rarely been seen together. It has been organised by the Art Institute of Chicago in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London and Établissement public du musée d'Orsay et du musée de l'Orangerie, Paris.

Michelangelo – Sebastiano; A Meeting of Minds, The National Gallery

The National Gallery, London

This major exhibition takes place from 15th March - 27th June and will focus on the extraordinary artistic relationship between Sebastiano del Piombo (about 1485– 1547) and Michelangelo (1475–1564) from the 1510s through to the 1540s.

In addition to covering their great collaborative projects, the exhibition will include works preceding their meeting, in part to better demonstrate the originality of their joint creations. It will also follow the lower-key, long-distance creative relationship between the two artists in the years they spent apart, and it will examine their allegedly acrimonious falling-out and creative parting of ways after Michelangelo's return to Rome.

For more information about galleries, exhibitions and days out in London visit

Fred. Olsen One-Night UK 'Taster Cruises'

Fred. Olsen One-Night UK 'Taster Cruise'

Guests wishing to book a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' one-night UK 'Taster Cruise' in 2017 can now do so without having to take out a Cruise Travel Insurance policy, making it even easier to experience a Fred. Olsen cruise for the first time.

Throughout its 2017/18 cruise season, Fred. Olsen is offering a selection of short UK 'Taster Cruises', which allow guests to come on board its cruise ships for one night to enjoy a 'snapshot' of the facilities and fun of a cruise holiday, experiencing a sumptuous five-course dinner, excellent entertainment and stylish accommodation.

Neil Herbert, Head of Sales for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, says, “At Fred. Olsen, we are always looking to attract new-to-cruise customers and to make the cruising experience as easy and straightforward as possible. Our range of one-night 'Taster Cruises' in 2017 offers the perfect opportunity for potential cruisers to sample our product, without committing too much time or money. And, with the news that travel insurance is no longer required on these sailings, we hope to attract even more first-timers to try out our friendly and relaxed cruise holidays.”

In addition, to remove a further 'barrier' for Fred. Olsen guests wishing to enjoy a one-night UK 'Taster Cruise' in 2017, but who do not hold a current passport, this range of short sailings will not require them to hold a valid passport. Instead, they can choose to use the following forms of photographic identification at Check-in, in full compliance with the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security ('ISPS') Code:

· Expired passport (must have expired within the last two years only)

· EU national identity card

· Driving licence

· Council-issued travel card

· Firearms licence

· Citizen Card


Setting sail from one UK port and arriving in another, Fred. Olsen's one-night UK 'Taster Cruises' in 2017 allow guests to experience a short getaway at sea and help them to make sure that cruising is the right holiday choice for them.

Available sailings include:

Enjoy a Fred. Olsen One-Night UK 'Taster Cruise'

· Boudicca's one-night D1704 'Taster Cruise', ex Southampton on 31st March 2017 (ending in Falmouth – guests can choose to add on coach transport back to the departure port). Prices start from just £79 per person. Click here

· Boudicca's one-night D1712 'Taster Cruise', ex Greenock (Glasgow) on 8th June 2017 (ending in Liverpool – guests can choose to add on coach transport back to the departure port). Prices start from just £79 per person. Click here

· Black Watch's one-night W1725 'Taster Cruise', ex London Tilbury on 13th December 2017 (ending in Southampton – guests can choose to add on coach transport back to the departure port). Prices start from just £79 per person. Click here

All prices include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, plus port taxes.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at  

To book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.

Rejuvenate with a January Jaunt at the Bell Inn, New Forest

Bell Inn, New Forest

Bell Inn, the rustic, picture-perfect 18th century coaching Inn in the northern corner of the New Forest, has announced its accommodation offer those looking for a New Year getaway, offering extraordinary value.

Guests at this family-owned favourite can enjoy Bed & Breakfast from just £75, per room, per night when staying Sunday-Friday from 3rd-31st January.

The Inn itself, is an authentic Grade II listed building boasting age-old rustic charm with flagstone floors, large open fireplaces and beamed reception rooms, humbly mixed with countrified-chic trimmings – a respectful, flat-capped nod to the old, as well as the new.

Enjoy a relaxing break at Bell Inn, New Forest

With an informal feeling throughout and dogs more than welcome, guests can choose to eat wherever they want, from the spacious bar with open fireplace, to the light and airy Garden Room or the warm and intimate Oak Room. The Inn boast 28 en-suite cosy and comfortable bedrooms, once more, cleverly blending original features with contemporary comforts – and all this just a few minutes from J1, M27.

Proudly local, having owned The Bell Inn for over 200 years, the family's focus is to welcome and spoil visitors like an old friend, offering locals and visitors alike, genuine hospitality, real ale and seriously good, high-quality food at great value - all within a welcoming setting of a friendly country Inn.

Sourcing produce locally as well as from the family's New Forest and Scottish estates, the menu serves up a true estate-to-plate experience with an impressive selection of seasonal dishes as well as daily specials and now, it's new 2-course set lunch and early-bird menu. Understandably the family is proud of it four-star AA Inn and AA rosette recognition.

For more information or to book accommodation, visit 

Or call 023 8081 2214.

Costa Launches Cup Recycling Scheme in Over 2,000 Stores

Costa launches Cup Recycling Scheme in over 2,000 stores

Costa is launching a nationwide recycling scheme across over 2,000 stores in order to recover and guarantee the recycling of its takeaway cups. Competitor takeaway cups will also be accepted by Costa in order to increase the number of cups recycled across the country.

Customers will be encouraged to leave or return their takeaway cups to a Costa store where they will be collected by Costa team members and stored back of house on a cup rack. Costa will then work with their waste partner, Veolia, to transport them to specialist waste processing plants which have the capability to recycle takeaway coffee cups.

Following a successful trial in over 45 stores across London and Manchester, Costa is rolling out the recycling racks at the end of January 2017 with a clear message of 'we recycle any paper takeaway cup, no matter what brand'.

Jason Cotta, Managing Director of Costa UK&I says, “As the UK's largest coffee shop brand, with stores up and down the country, we want to make it as easy as possible for the public to recycle their used coffee cups. Our research in Manchester and London shows around 40 cups per day are left in stores, which means we have the potential to recycle 30 million Costa cups a year. What's more, the fact that we will accept competitors' cups means we could significantly increase that figure. This will not be a trial. This is going to be business as usual.”

In addition to this Costa is funding research at Sheffield University into cup recyclability and currently donates 25p to litter charities every time a customer uses a reusable cup in a Costa store.

Jason Cotta continues, “We are committed to taking a lead and, like many others, we are working hard to find a cup that can be recycled anywhere. Whilst there is more work to do in partnership with the wider industry, we are excited to see the impact our new in-store recycling offer will have and hope it is embraced by everyone – by our customers and by those who buy their coffee elsewhere.”

Costa is the UK's favourite coffee shop, having been awarded “Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland" by Allegra Strategies for six years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & December 2015). With 2000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,180 in 30 overseas markets, Costa is the fastest- growing coffee shop business in the UK. Founded in London by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, Costa has become the UK's favourite coffee shop chain and diversified into both the at-home and gourmet self-serve markets.

Costa is committed to looking after coffee-growers and has established The Costa Foundation, a registered charity. The Foundation's aims are to relieve poverty, advance education and the health and environment of coffee-growing communities around the world. So far, The Costa Foundation has funded the building of 53 schools and improved the social and economic welfare of coffee-growing communities.

Costa is also committed to tackling the UK's literacy challenge and is proud to have signed the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge. In continuation of this commitment, and inspired by the Costa Book Awards and the ongoing work of the Costa Foundation, Costa launched its inaugural Reading Week last year with over 500 schools across the UK.

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 Sixtyplusurfers Book Reviews

    Safe From Harm
              By RJ Bailey
          Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

Safe From Harm by RJ Bailey

Sam Wylde is a Close Protection Officer to the rich and powerful. In a world dominated by men, being a woman has been an advantage. And she is the best in the business in what she does.

Sam takes on a job protecting the daughter of the Sharifs, the Pakistani textile tycoons. But she realises that there is more to their organisation than meets the eye and suddenly she finds herself in danger.

Now she is trapped underground, with no light, no phone signal and no escape. Dangerous men are coming to hurt her, and the young charge she is meant to be protecting.

With time running out, can she channel everything she knows to keep them safe from harm?

I really warmed to the character of Sam Wydle, a strong, intelligent and brave woman who protects the rich and political targets from danger.

We are drip fed nuggets about her past and what motivates her in her job and her life as the story unfolds. And we slowly discover why she is trapped underground with a young girl and the risks that are involved.

Cleverly constructed, full of action and intrigue, I thoroughly enjoyed this new thriller by RJ Bailey. Original, exciting and packed with plenty of suspense, it kept me enthralled and gripped until the very last page.

Safe From Harm is the first novel in a new series by debut author RJ Bailey. Follow RJ Bailey on Twitter @RJBaileyBooks.

Safe From Harm is published by Simon & Schuster on 12th January 2017. Price is £7.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book click on

     The Sleeping
      Beauty Killer

     By Mary Higgins Clark
            & Alafair Burke
        Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

In the third novel in the Under Suspicion series, Laurie and her crew reinvestigate a woman convicted of murdering her fiancé.

Casey Carter was convicted of murdering her fiancé, famed philanthropist Hunter Raleigh III, fifteen years ago. And Casey claims - has always claimed - that she is innocent. Although she was charged and served out her sentence in prison, she is still living 'under suspicion'.

Her story attracts the attention of Laurie Moran and the Under Suspicion news team. It's Casey's last chance to finally clear her name, and Laurie pledges to exonerate her.

But it's not that simple, there's an egomaniacal new boss, a relentless gossip columnist who seems to have all the dirt (and a surprising informant), and Casey's longstanding bad reputation, all standing in her way.

Laurie must face this, and more, to do what she believes is right, to once and for all prove Casey's innocence - that is, if she is innocent ....

The Sleeping Beauty Killer will keep you guessing until the very end.

I really like the character of Laurie Moran and her team who work on the Under Suspicion television show, solving cold crime cases, so I was delighted to receive the third novel in the series.

The book picks up the story as Laurie is trying to find a new case to feature on the show, and when Casey Carter is released from prison claiming that she was wrongfully arrested, it seems the perfect case to take on.

But all is not as it seems and as Laurie delves into the case, we discover that many of the suspects are hiding something. Casey also discovers the new evidence of a missing picture frame which may hold the key to the puzzle.

Meanwhile, Laurie has a new member on her team, Ryan Nichols, who is her boss, Brett's best friend's nephew. Can she work with someone so young and inexperienced? Especially when she has previously worked with the charming and astute Alex Buckley, with whom she has a tenuous relationship, which seems to be getting increasingly fragile as the case progresses.

I really enjoyed reading this gripping new book and trying to guess who the murderer was and their motives. It had me speculating right up until the end! There was plenty of drama, suspense and excitement in this well plotted detective story.

Perfect for a cold night in and a thoroughly fascinating winter read. I can't wait to read the next book in the Laurie Moran Under Suspicion series. 

Mary Higgins Clark by Bernard Vidal

 Mary Higgins Clark by Bernard Vidal

Mary Higgins Clark, number one international and New York Times bestselling author, has written 35 suspense novels; three collections of short stories, a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story, two children's books and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges.

With her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, she has co-authored five more suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the US alone.

Alafair Burke is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels including Long Gone, If You Were Here, and the latest in the Ellie Hatcher series, All Day and a Night. A former prosecutor, she now teaches criminal law and lives in Manhattan.

The Sleeping Beauty Killer is published by Simon & Schuster Price is £20 for the hardback.

For more information about the book click on

      Cavern Club
   The Inside Story

       By Debbie Greenberg
             Review by
Simon Fine

Cavern Club - The Inside Story by Debbie Greenberg

Opened in 1957, the Cavern Club became the most famous music club in the world during the 1960s. From its beginnings as a jazz club, featuring the likes of Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball, the Cavern became the focal point for the emerging Mersey Beat scene in the early 1960s.

Bands such as The Hollies, The Merseybeats, The Searchers and Gerry & The Pacemakers were regular performers along with solo artists like Cilla Black. Most famous of all, The Beatles played The Cavern 292 times. But in 1966, when owner Ray McFall was unable to meet his financial commitments, The Cavern was closed down, despite protests by hundreds of teenage fans.

As a teenager Debbie was a regular at Cavern Club lunchtime and evening sessions. So when her father, Alf Geoghegan, asked her out of the blue if she thought it would be a good idea to take over the club, she was thrilled. She became part of the new family business, breathing new life into what had become a dilapidated shell.

The Cavern was re-opened by the Prime Minister Harold Wilson followed by a marathon session featuring the likes of Marty Wilde, Billy J Kramer and The Searchers. Debbie recounts the story of the following four years when her family ran the Cavern, meeting performers including Status Quo, The Zombies and Queen and celebrities such as Spike Milligan and Mick McManus.

Debbie also recalls some of the less pleasant times and difficult characters that she dealt with as part of managing such a high profile music venue. This first-hand account of her ten years frequenting and eventually helping to run the Cavern Club is a fascinating and entertaining inside story.

The Cavern Story is a fab read for any 60s music fan. Richly illustrated with dozens of rare photos, posters and press cuttings, the book features lots of authentic stories about the Cavern, the fans and the groups and artists who performed there. The day that Paul McCartney popped in with his new girlfriend Linda, to show her where the Beatles story began is particularly special, with a photo of Debbie and Paul. The book is a fitting tribute to the enterprise and tireless work of Debbie’s father, Alf, and a fascinating history of the world’s most famous music club.

A Christmas single, 'Little Girl (Bells of Christmas), written in 1967 by Alf Geoghegan was recently uncovered by Debbie. She asked singer/songwriter Michael Armstrong to update the song and it was released alongside the 'Cavern Club' The Inside Story' at Christmas, perfectly timed to kick off the 60th anniversary commemorations of the Cavern. It features The Shadows' legendary drummer, Brian Bennett, who performed many times at the Cavern.

Debbie Greenberg

           Author, Debbie Greenberg

Born in 1945 in Liverpool, Debbie Greenberg started working with her father, Alf Geoghegan, who ran three butcher’s shops. By age 20 she was managing the family business and also working part-time as a fashion model. Her life changed forever when her father took over the lease of the Cavern Club in 1966 after the previous owner went bankrupt.

Cavern Club – The Inside Story is published by Jorvik Press. Price is £17.25 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit the website at

      Planet Earth II
           By Stephen Moss
             Review by
Simon Fine

Planet Earth II by Stephen Moss

It is 10 years since the BBC’s groundbreaking Planet Earth series which captured a global view of different habitats on Earth and was broadcast in over 130 countries.

As a tie-in to Planet Earth II, which was recently broadcast on the BBC, this remarkable book utilises the most incredible advances in technology and scientific discovery to bring the most exciting and intimate photographs of our world's wildlife yet. With over 250 breathtaking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit's spectacular footage, this is an extraordinary new look at the complex life of some of the most amazing places on Planet Earth.

The Foreword by David Attenborough describes how advances in technology and techniques have allowed even the shyest of animals, such as snow leopards, to be filmed remotely using camera “traps”. Each chapter then reveals an environment – jungles, mountains, deserts, grasslands, islands and cities, each defined by a unique set of rules required for survival.

Dealing with extremes of heat and cold, the challenges of unforgiving weather and the harshest of terrains, we discover how a whole host of creatures have adapted to life in the most extreme conditions. And how they compete with one another to eat, breed and survive their environment and the dangers of predators. Sadly many of the threats come from humans – hunting, intensive farming and the destruction of natural habitats.

Planet Earth II includes the first in-depth look at the urban environment in various cities of the world, and the remarkable range of behaviours occurring right under our noses. Raccoons in the USA and leopards in Mumbai, for example, have adapted to the urban environment alongside their human neighbours.

I particularly enjoyed the final chapter which provides insights into the challenges of filming animals in the most difficult environments, such as capturing swarms of locusts in Madagascar and the colonies of penguins in remote tiny islands in the subantactarctic.

The photography is truly outstanding and a testament to the skills of the cameramen.

Stephen Moss
               Author, Stephen Moss

Stephen Moss is a naturalist, broadcaster, television producer and author. In a distinguished career at the BBC Natural History Unit his credits included Springwatch, Birds Britannia and The Nature of Britain.

His books include A Bird in the Bush, A Sky Full of Starlings, The Bumper Book of Nature and Wild Hares and Hummingbirds.

Planet Earth II by Stephen Moss is published by BBC Books. Price is £25 for the hardback.

For more information about the book click on

          By Michelle Slatalla

           Review by Simon Fine

Gardenista by Michelle Slatalla

Michelle Slatalla believes that our homes’ outdoor spaces should be as welcoming and carefully considered as our living rooms, and when treated as extensions of our homes, these spaces enrich our lives immeasurably. The aim of this book, and Michelle’s website, is to demystify garden design regardless of the dimensions of your garden and the size of your budget.

The book contains lavishly photographed tours of 12 enviable gardens including details of what each designer aimed to achieve, the materials they used for paths and paved areas, their planting strategies and how they made best use of the lie of the land and surroundings. I loved the central London garden that the owners had developed into three “rooms”, a cottage garden, a walled garden and a pond area. It looked like a perfect, peaceful country garden rather than an inner city oasis.

The rest of the book includes “Colour Stories”, seven case studies of how planting, hardscape materials and natural surroundings can form a beautiful palette of colour. My favourite of these is a cottage garden situated in an idyllic Dorset village which has colourful borders and incorporates a neighbouring church into the design. The planting was brilliantly designed and the paths and borders fitted perfectly with the house and surroundings.

There is also a chapter on how to get the most of your garden, including designing a play area, partying, cooking, camping and even keeping chickens. The book concludes with 100 everyday objects which can add finishing touches to your garden and a chapter on expert advice and resources.

Garden design should be fun and can be as unconventional as you like. This beautifully illustrated book is full of inspiring ideas, practical solutions and guidance on how to plan your garden and where to begin. Though your budget might not stretch as far as the gardens in this book, your imagination has no boundaries and this book will help turn your gardening ideas into reality.

Michelle Slatalla

                Author, Michelle Slatalla

Michelle Slatalla is editor in chief of the Gardenista website, which she created and launched in 2012. Previously, Slatalla was a columnist for the New York Times, Time, and Real Simple. She is the author of six books, including five co-written with her husband, Josh Quittner.

Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces is published by Artisan Books. Price is £28.99 for the hardback.

For more information about the book visit the website at

     Stop The World 
    I Want To Get Off

   Edited by Iain Hollingshead

           Review by Simon Fine

Stop The World  I Want to Get Off by Iain Hollingshead

Readers of the Daily Telegraph will be fondly aware of the combination of wistful nostalgia, robust no-nonsense good sense and appalled outrage that characterises its brilliant letters page, which if it did not exist would have to be invented.

But what of all the letters that are just slightly too wacky, too off the wall, too politically incorrect, to make it for publication? Now the Telegraph gives their authors the stage yet again. Refreshingly, this latest collection is bang up to date, offering alternative opinions on the topics that have dominated the news during the past year; the EU referendum, the US Presidential election, striking junior doctors, England’s latest footballing fiasco and the Great British Bake Off to name a few.

All receive the quirky attention of the Telegraph readers, offering wit, a wry opinion and good humour on a wide range of important and trivial subjects. Typically: Sir – I had a “once in a lifetime” vote in the 1975 European Referendum and I am still here. Should I consult my physician?

I invariably enjoy these collections of unpublished letters. They never fail to make me smile and occasionally laugh out loud. It is also reassuring that there are still many dedicated sticklers of good grammar and punctuation willing to speak up for the correct use of the English language. I was beginning to worry that I was the only one!

Iain Hollingshead spent two years on the Letters to the Editor desk before becoming a full-time feature writer for the Daily Telegraph. His assignments have included reporting on the student riots in London and interviewing everyone from Michael Atherton to Gurkha veterans to a member of Seal Team Six, the elite unit which killed Osama bin Laden.

He has edited six bestselling collections of unpublished letters to the Daily Telegraph.

Stop The World, I Want To Get Off - Unpublished Letters to the Daily Telegraph is published by Aurum Press. Price is £9.99 for the hardback.

For more information about the book visit the website at

   Release Your Wow!
           By Rennie Gould

        Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

Release Your Wow! by Rennie Gould

Release Your Wow is an all-encompassing read that not only inspires you but urges you to start living your life for the better. With Rennie Gould's helpful 7-step process, the book promises to provide you with the necessary tools for changing and creating a better, or more authentic life.

Using a unique combination of theories from mindfulness, neuroscience through to epigenetics and positive psychology, Release Your Wow gives the reader a toolkit to discover your true self. The author uses his own background and knowledge to create a powerful new method of implementing many different practices together to maximise the outcome.

Perfect for a student wondering what to do next, a stay at home mum wanting to re-enter the work place and the retired couple looking to settle into their post working life, Rennie will guide the reader through the step by step process with exercises and examples to use along the way.

I was really impressed with this positive and uplifting book, packed with helpful tips and advice to help you enjoy your life, feel happy and content. Warmly written with plenty of easy to follow advice, I particularly liked the sections on wellbeing,  fulfilment and gratitude.

This is a great book to dip into when you feel that life is getting you down, you are stressed or overwhelmed. It helps you to step back, identify your goals and provide you with reassurance, more confidence and ultimate happiness. Perfect for those who feel they have lost their way and need to inject more meaning and purpose into their life. Treat yourself to this comforting new book and 'Release Your Wow!' in the New Year.

Rennie Gould

                Author, Rennie Gould

Rennie is a consultant, university lecturer and writer who has worked with thousands of people around the world to help meet their personal and organisational goals. He describes himself as a semi-academic with one foot in the world of academic theory and the other in the world of practical implementation.

Born in Lancashire, he was a £10 immigrant to Australia in 1965. Now based in Somerset, Rennie regularly travels for his work.

Release your Wow! is published by Urbane Publications. Price is £12.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit the website at