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Sixtyplusurfers Reviews

The Night Raid
By Clare Harvey
Review by Jenny Itzcovitz


The Night Raid by Clare Harvey

World renowned war artist Dame Laura Knight is commissioned to paint propaganda portraits of factory girls and is sent to the ordnance factories in her hometown of Nottingham.

At first she relishes the opportunity for a nostalgia trip, but when she starts work on a portrait of two particular women, Violet Smith and her co-worker Zelah Fitzlord, memories begin to resurface that she has spent half a lifetime trying to forget.

Violet is an industrial conscript, and her wages help support a sprawling family back home in Kent. But working in munitions also meant freedom from a small-town mentality, and the disappointment of a first love turned sour.

For Zelah, too, working in the gun factory meant escape. Her dreams of the future were dashed in the carnage of the Plymouth Blitz, and she found refuge in the numbing repetition of manual work.

But just like war artist Laura, Violet and Zelah have something hidden, mistakes they have tried to leave behind with their old selves.

I really enjoyed this well constructed novel which explores the lives of the young women working in the munitions factories during the war. With many unsure of their future, romantic attachments are often chosen in haste, with unwanted pregnancies, and tough decisions made due to the strict morality of the times, often resulting backstreet abortions, or children given up for adoption.

Author Clare Harvey explores the rigid traditional values of the times and shows us how strong women were beginning to stand up for themselves and make their own way in the world with their new found independence gained from working as part of the war effort.

Well researched, realistic and gripping, I was engrossed until the end of the book and look forward to reading more novels from this talented author.

Clare Harvey

            Author, Clare Harvey

Clare Harvey is an ex-army wife. The Gunner Girl, her debut novel, was inspired by her mother-in-law's experience during World War II and written while her husband was on active service in Afghanistan.

She has travelled widely and worked all over the world, doing voluntary work in Tanzania and as a journalist and tutor in Nepal, Germany and Northern Ireland. She hitchhiked from Zanzibar to Cape Town and went on to work for an overseas charity before falling in love with a soldier. She now lives with in Nottingham with her family.

The Night Raid is published by Simon & Schuster. Price is £7.99 for the paperback and £20 for the hardback.


For more information about the book visit the website at www.simonandschuster.co.uk
 

The 4 Pillar Plan
By Dr Rangan Chatterjee
Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

In The 4 Pillar Plan, Dr Rangan Chatterjee presents us with an incredibly simple framework for taking control of our health. He divides health into four pillars: diet, rest, sleep and movement.

By making small, easily achievable changes in each of these key areas you can find and maintain good health - and avoid illness. You don't need to excel at any one pillar; what matters most is the balance across all the things you do, from having an electronic 'sabbath' once a week, aiming for 12 hours every day without food, and exposing yourself to sunlight first thing each morning.

Based on cutting edge research and his own experience as a GP, and featuring fascinating case studies from real patients, The 4 Pillar Plan is an inspiring, easy-to-follow and practical guide to good health.

I'm always on the look out for an easy to follow health book that doesn't include faddy diets but offers constructive ideas to stay in shape and lead a more fulfilling lifestyle, so I was delighted to receive The 4 Pillar Plan.

Packed with sensible advice about healthy eating, enjoyable exercise, and plenty of positive tips to improve your wellbeing, lower your stress and get the most out of life, this is the must-buy book for the New Year if you feel tired and low on energy.

The book includes Dr Rangan's own experience as a GP with stories from his patients who have benefited from his ideas and advice. There are healthy eating ideas, exercise plans and stretches that you can try in the comfort of your own home. He also suggests walking and becoming more active in your daily life.

Positive, uplifting and warmly written, if you're feeling low and need a lift in your lifestyle and diet, then treat yourself to this great new book. You'll soon see the benefits.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee

      Author,  Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Dr Rangan Chatterjee is a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine and is changing the way that we look at illness.

He is known for finding the root cause of people's problems by taking a 360 degree approach to health, which was highlighted in the first two series' of his ground breaking BBC One TV show, Doctor in the House, that gained him much acclaim from both the public and doctors.

He regularly lectures on his subject at events and conferences around the world. For more information about Dr Rangan Chatterjee visit his website at www.drchatterjee.com

The 4 Pillar Plan is published by Penguin Random House on 4th January. Price is £16.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit  www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk

 

Generation Cherry
By Tim Drake
Review by Simon Fine

Generation Cherry by Tim Drake

Today there are many people in their 50s, 60s and 70s who have either been made redundant or have retired, often well before the official retirement age. For some, a limited pension means that there is a financial necessity to continue to find work that will generate an income, even though they may be rich in terms of their assets such as the value of their homes.

Others believe they have unrealised potential and are full of energy and ideas, looking to spend the next stage in their lives in the most effective, enjoyable and satisfying ways possible.

Tim Drake was in such a situation twenty years ago and in his latest book, Generation Cherry, shares his approach to thinking and behaving in ways that utilise his talents to the full in our rapidly changing world. Now in his seventies, he still sees himself as a promising youngster, and intends to carry on thinking and behaving like someone much younger. He is putting more into life, and getting more out of it.

The book, like Tim’s thinking, is thoughtfully structured. His strategy involves adopting a constructive mindset around four autonomies which involve developing a healthy mindset around earning and spending income, learning new skills and acquiring knowledge, giving your time and money towards helping others whilst enjoying down time with family and friends and hobbies, including relaxation.

Through adopting this approach and reframing our mental model, we can all find purpose, fulfilment and worthwhile ways of enjoying our lives, earning an income and making a difference to our own lives and those of others.

Tim believes that we can all have a second bite of the cherry. His book is encouraging, practical and often inspiring. He highlights the opportunities and provides a toolkit for the challenges of our generation.

It is also relevant to future generations enabling them to retain a sense of control of their lives when conventional jobs and career development are rapidly disappearing and they must adapt to new ways of working.

Tim Drake

                 Author, Tim Drake

Tim Drake has co-founded and run businesses, think tanks and charities. He is a keynote speaker to business audiences around Europe on personal and group motivation, and unlocking potential.

Generation Cherry is published by RedDoor. Price is £12.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit  www.timdrake.co.uk
 

Woods
A Celebration

By Robert Penn
Review by Simon Fine

Woods - A Celebration by Robert Penn

The National Trust is the custodian of some 420 woods covering 64,000 acres of England and Wales. These include many ancient woodlands. The Trust provides sensitive management of this diverse range of woods and, in some cases, the restoration of ancient woodlands.

The publication of Woods - A Celebration coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the Great Storm of October 1987 – the most dramatic, single event in recent meteorological history in Britain, and a night that did untold damage to National Trust properties across South East England, destroying 360,000 trees.

Woods - A Celebration is divided into four seasonal essays. It provides a historic context including the changing uses of wood through the centuries, how woodlands have been managed and the threats to our precious woods and forests. The author describes the different species of trees such as oak, elm, beech, birch and ash that give our woods their unique character, the plants that grow amongst the trees such as the bluebells that carpet many woodlands in spring.

The book also features animals that inhabit our woods, including deer, badgers and squirrels, the insect life, including butterflies, and the native and visiting birds that provide the dawn chorus that is so evocative. Several woods are featured, including Toys Hill in Kent, Ashridge to the north west of London, Hatfield Forest with a history dating back to Henry I, Homer Wood in Devon and the Slindon Estate in Sussex where the National Trust is undertaking an ambitious woodland restoration project.

Each chapter overflows with of the most beautiful, dramatic and atmospheric photographs that illustrate the changing character of woods throughout the seasons.

Woods - A Celebration is typical of a National Trust publication; a high-quality hardback full of stunning photographs and highly informative subject matter that will appeal to lovers of the countryside. It is a beautifully illustrated celebration of Britain’s woodlands and the ancient stories that surround them.

Research has shown that a walk in the woods has both physical and mental health benefits. If that is not sufficient reason to inspire readers to explore and enjoy the trees, plants and wildlife of their local woods and beyond, this stunning book will surely provide the impetus.

Robert Penn is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He writes for The Financial Times, Sunday Times, Guardian and Observer. He has written and presented documentary series for the BBC and Sky, including Tales From the Wildwood for BBC Four about British woodlands.

He is a frequent broadcaster on BBC radio. His book, The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees was BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’. Before that, It’s All About the Bike was a Sunday Times bestseller. He is patron of the Small Woods Association

Woods - A Celebration is published by National Trust Books. Price is £20 for the hardback.

For more information about the book visit the website at www.pavilionbooks.com
 

The Mensa
Quiz Book

Review by Simon Fine

The Mensa Quiz Book

Mensa is the world’s oldest and biggest high IQ society with over 100,000 members in over forty countries. It is dedicated to nurturing intelligence, with membership open to those with an IQ in the top two per cent. Every year, Mensa hosts the Brain of Mensa event - a gruelling knockout competition to root out the smartest quizzers.

The Mensa Quiz Book is, for the first time ever, a compilation of the questions in these yearly competitions. The book contains over 100 individual rounds, each with up to twenty questions, so there is plenty to get your quizzing teeth into.

The rounds are very varied, rather like a quiz night you might have attended yourself. Subjects cover history, geography, sport, music, art, film, literature, nature, science and much more. There are also several picture quizzes. Although a stretching test of knowledge, the questions are straightforward and unambiguous.

The Mensa Quiz book is more than a book of quiz questions. There are many other challenges to entertain the reader. Being a Mensa publication, it is no surprise to find that there are many brainteasers scattered around the book, typical logic puzzles to challenge and annoy you! There is also an IQ test, drawing on the same types of abstract reasoning that are encountered in IQ tests.

These are great fun and may encourage readers to obtain a practice test from Mensa and get an estimate of how well they might perform in one of the Mensa supervised IQ tests. I attempted quite a few of the quiz rounds. On subjects where I consider myself knowledgeable, I could answer about half of the questions.

On the many topics where my expertise is more limited, I was not quite so successful! So there is ample scope to enjoy this book in a family or team environment.

This is a substantial quiz book which would provide many hours of challenging entertainment for anyone who enjoys a quiz or who thrives on attempting logic puzzles. It is also a rich source of potential questions for anyone hosting a quiz.

For more information about Mensa, go to their website www.mensa.org

The Mensa Quiz Book is published by Carlton Books. Price is £12.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit the website at www.carltonbooks.co.uk
 

The Best of Punch Cartoons
By Helen Walasek

Review by Simon Fine

The Best of Punch Cartoons by Helen Walasek

Punch was a humorous and satirical weekly magazine first published in 1841, which amused generations of readers throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Such was the power of Punch’s political satire, that it was banned in several countries. However, after the 1940s, when its circulation peaked, it went into a long decline, closing in 1992.

It was revived in 1996, but closed again in 2002. Its greatest legacy is the thousands of cartoons published in its pages for over 160 years. Punch magazine gave us the cartoon as we know it today. Their cartoons were famous the world over for their witty observation of the British character, social commentary and superb artistry.

In The Best of Punch Cartoons, Helen Walasek has assembled the biggest and best collection of Punch cartoons ever published. This book is a substantial body of work in every sense, spanning 600 pages filled with over 2000 cartoons. Many are political satire and social commentary which reflect the changing times from Victorian Britain through two world wars and onto the technological revolution.

Others are simply funny jokes, created by many great cartoonists including John Leech, George du Maurier, H.M. Bateman, E.H. Shepard, Fougasse Pont, Hoffnung, Quentin Blake Ronald Searle, John Tenniel (who also illustrated Alice in Wonderland), and my personal favourite, Norman Thelwell whose cartoons of little girls and their little fat and often disobedient ponies are instantly recognisable.

A particularly astute cartoon by Norman Mansbridge features two scientists asking what will become of them if they go on developing electronics. The intelligent computer verbalises the answer! Even in 1964, an astute cartoonist could predict this far into the future and express it with humour.

The Best of Punch Cartoons is packed with magnificent gags and beautiful artwork by some of the finest cartoonists and illustrators of the past two centuries. It will appeal to those of us with a wry sense of humour and an interest in social history. It is very large and very funny.

Helen Walasek, of Punch Cartoon Library, is the former curator of the Punch collection and editor of The Best of Punch Cartoons and Punch Goes to War.

The Best of Punch Cartoons is published by Carlton Books. Price is £35 for the hardback.

For more information about the book visit the website at www.carltonbooks.co.uk
 

Books & Gifts


Sixtyplusurfers Interview


Alexander
McCall Smith


Alexander McCall Smith


Interview by Jenny Itzcovitz


Alexander McCall Smith has been my favourite author ever since my dear mother-in-law handed me the first novel in The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series and said, You'll like this! I've enjoyed his fabulous books over the years and I was delighted to find out more about the inspiration for his novels and how he became a writer. We caught up with him to find out more about his work, his travels and his enchanting characters. 

You were originally a Professor of Medical Law. Can you tell us how you first became a writer and got your books published?

Alexander McCall Smith


             Photograph by Alex Hewitt

I have written since childhood and indeed sent my first novel off to a publisher at the age of eight. The title was ‘He is Gone’. I don’t recall who ‘He’ was or where he had gone but I do remember getting an encouraging letter back from the publisher.

Much later in life I entered a writing competition and was fortunate enough to win in the Children’s category. My first children’s book, The White Hippo, was published in 1980 and I was on my way. I have written more than 30 children’s books since, along with my adult novels and works of non-fiction.

I love the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, Precious Ramotswe is strong, kind, warm hearted, and a very sympathetic character. Can you tell us about your inspiration for the novels and how you created the characters?

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith


I lived in Botswana for a while when I was younger. Botswana is a very special country and her people are very close to my heart so I find no shortage of inspiration. Mma Ramotswe is not based on any one person but people just like her do exist there. They really do.

The books capture the spirit and atmosphere of Botswana and the gentler pace of life here. How did you make them authentic? And how much does the country mean to you?

Alexander McCall Smith

      Alexander McCall Smith at Speedy
      Motors photograph by Chris Watt


I continue to visit Botswana at least once a year to immerse myself in life there. The people are on the whole, kind and gentle and thoughtful and I greatly admire what they have achieved since independence. Of course not everything there is perfect but generally they have done very well.

I’m also a big fan of your 44 Scotland Street and Isabel Dalhousie books which are set in Scotland, How special is Scotland to you and the places, culture and people here?

A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith


Scotland is home. I have lived here for most of my adult life. The people, the culture, the scenery and the light of the country are all very familiar to me and play a special role in My Scotland Street series and Isabel Dalhousie novels but also in my non-fiction including A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith’s Edinburgh.

I really enjoyed your new stand-alone book The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse. Why did you decide to write a wartime novel and focus on the kindness of the German soldier, Ubi? And also, the dog, Peter Woodhouse, who becomes the mascot of the American pilots?

The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith

At that time, ordinary people were swept into a war they didn’t want, and there were acts of kindness on all sides. I wanted to write about this and to reflect the humanity of many of those caught up in the horror of war. And peter Woodhouse - well.. dogs are wonderful creatures are they not?

How do you manage to write so many fabulous books? Do you have a set routine, room where you write, or a typical process for creating them?

Alexander McCall Smith

       Photograph by Dennis McInally


I am very lucky that I can write wherever I am – on trains and planes, in airports and hotels as well as at home in my study. I tend to get up very early and write for a few hours before starting the work of the day.

Do you have a special message for Sixtyplusurfers?

I do. I would like to thank all at Sixtyplusurfers and all your followers for your support throughout the years. You provide a magnificent service to those of us who are sixty-plus and I thank you for that. I know just how difficult it can be to keep something like this going and I do admire what you have achieved.

Alexander McCall Smith


Alexander McCall Smith's new book, The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse is published by Polygon.

For more information visit the website at
www.polygonbooks.co.uk
 

Great Gifts from Dotcomgiftshop
 

Flamingo Bay Cocktail Shaker from Dotcomgiftshop


If you're looking for a great gift for the New Year, check out the range from Dotcomgiftshop. There's something here for everyone including children, retirement gifts, wedding and anniversary presents, new home and birthdays, whatever your price point.

Celebrate the New Year with this eyecatching retro Flamingo Bay design glass cocktail shaker. Invite your friends to enjoy a delicious cocktail in the comfort of your own home.

The cocktail shaker is decorated with pink flamingos and  includes its own 'how-to' guide and has Pina Colada, Cosmopolitan and Mojito recipes. With a 450 volume and helpful markings so you know how much liquid to include. Price is £14.95.

Classic Espresso Coffee Pot from Dotcomgiftshop

Coffee lovers will be delighted with this stylish Classic Espresso Coffee Pot. Available in a selection of colours, this is the best way to make authentic Italian espresso.

This red stove top macchinetta is made from quality aluminium and is suitable for both gas and electric hobs. It makes up to six cups of espresso, so it's perfect for entertaining. Packaged in an attractive retro gift box. Price is £16.95.

Brass Jewellery Box from Dotcomgiftshop

Treat someone special to this elegant Brass Jewellery Box In Silver. This pretty jewellery box is part of Dotcomgiftshop's Jaipur glassware range.

The jewellery box has four compartments and is a wonderful way to store rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The box has padding on each corner to avoid damage to surfaces. Price is £25.

Unicorn Flask and Cup from Dotcomgiftshop

Treat yourself or someone who is out and about a lot to this fun Unicorn Flask And Cup. Perfect for the cold weather this attractive stainless steel flask will keep your drinks and soups hot on your travels.

Decorated with unicorns, the flask includes a cup so that you can enjoy a hot drink of tea, coffee or soup on the go. The flask has a volume of 350ml and a push stopper to prevent leaking. Price is £12.95.

Cookie The Cat Wooden Wall Clock from Dotcomgiftshop

Cat lovers will adore this delightful Cookie The Cat Wooden Wall Clock. This super cute wooden wall clock has big numbers and is perfect for a gift for children or to brighten up your kitchen.

The clock has a swinging tail pendulum to help you keep time. It requires a 1 x AA battery (not included). Perfect for cat lovers, this fun clock is sure to be a talking point in your home. Price is £24.95.

Butterfly Shopper Bag from Dotcomgiftshop

Stand out from the crowd on your weekly shop with this eyecatching Butterfly Shopper Bag.

Made from recycled plastic bottles and foldable for easy storage, grab one of these day to day essentials. Available in a selection of styles and patterns. The shopper bag is big enough to take your groceries. You can also use it as a laundry bag. Price is £3.95.


For more information and to see the full range of gifts visit www.dotcomgiftshop.com
 

Live Laugh Love Gifts for New Year
 

Silver Glass Tea Light Holder with Diamante Style Rim from Live Laugh Love


Check out the stylish range of gifts and goodies for the home and garden at Live Laugh Love.

Bring a little sparkle and glitz to your home with this elegant Silver Glass Tea Light Holder With Diamante Style Rim.


This pretty antique styled silver glass tea light holder has a diamante styled band around the rim. Pop a tea light inside and use it for a dinner party or a romantic meal. Measurements are width 5.5cm x 6.5cm x depth 5.5cm. Price is just £2.25.

Large Checker Checker Tea Light Holder With Heart Jewel from Live Laugh Love

Make Valentine's Day really special with this beautiful Large Checker Tea Light Holder With Heart Jewel. This large tea light holder is 10cm tall and has a unique checked effect and diamante brooch in the shape of a heart.

This magical holder looks amazing when a lit tea light or candle is placed inside and creates a restful atmosphere of shimmering light. Use in the home, at a special occasion or as a feature for a specific event. Usual price is £7.95, but at the moment it has a limited half price of £4.00.


Hanging Heart 3 Drawer Jewellery Box from Live Laugh Love

Live Laugh Love also offers gorgeous gifts for the home. This pretty Hanging Heart 3 Drawer Jewellery Box is the perfect present for the person who has everything, it will also make a delightful decoration for a guest bedroom.

This pretty wooden box includes 3 drawers which all come with white hanging hearts. Fill it with jewellery, photographs, keepsakes, old postcards, tickets or little bottles of perfume and treats for your guests. Price is £14.95.

Farmhouse Hen Chalk Board from Live Laugh Love

This eyecatching Farmhouse Hen Chalk Board will make a great talking point in your kitchen.

This sweet wooden chalk board is in the shape of a hen. It has a cute checked scarf, giving it a vintage French feel. A great piece for shopping lists, reminders and messages. Price is £24.95.

Large Heart White Whire Letter Rack from Live Laugh Love

Keep your letters, bills and postcards tidy with this elegant Large Heart White Wire Letter Rack. This white metal letter rack has been suitably styled to suit both shabby chic and country interiors, its sturdy metal fabrication has two slots to put your correspondence into.

With pretty heart and scrollwork on the front, it will look stylish in the kitchen or on your desk. Perfect for keeping your letters and bills in order. It will make a great welcome in your new home gift, it's also a great addition to a hallway, study or just to organise your paperwork. Price is £6.95.

For more information about Live Laugh Love click on www.livelaughlove.co.uk

 

Shop with Born Free
    in the New Year


Buy this cute Elsa Lion toy with Born Free


A popular New Year’s resolution is to be more charitable. Life pressures and unexpected costs, however, can mean that charity donations aren’t always possible. Thankfully, there is a way to shop and donate at the same time.

For those wanting to take a more charitable stance in 2018, Born Free - the international wildlife charity - now has a range of ‘feel good’ purchases, which are not only desirable, but also make a positive impact on animals worldwide.

Coffee - £6.16 per 250g pack

Get your coffee from Born Free


Britons spend over £2,000 per year on coffee. A simple resolution, which is also kinder on the purse strings, is to purchase a travel mug and make coffee at home.

Independent coffee roaster, Coffee Real, has joined forces with Born Free to create an exclusive Born Free coffee. This delicious espresso blend uses coffee sourced from countries in which Born Free is actively involved including India, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. 10% of the sales revenue from each 250g bag sold goes towards projects in Africa.

Wine & Prosecco - £7.99 per bottle / £11.25 per bottle for prosecco

Buy your wine and prosecco with Born Free

Do your part for charity and enjoy a tipple at the same time. Vintage Roots has a range of ‘Wild Thing’ wines and prosecco, from which a percentage of profits goes towards Born Free’s work. Choose from their Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot or Rosé from La Mancha, Spain, or their Prosecco from Veneto, Italy.

Travel Adaptor - £12

Get your travel adaptors with Born Free


If travelling, weekend getaways, or dream holidays are on the cards for 2018, jet-setters can plug in their gadgets and support Born Free at the same time with the charity’s new travel adaptor that works in over 150 countries.

Canvas Shopper - £11

Canvas Shopper from Born Free


The Born Free canvas shopper is the perfect solution for eco-friendly and money-savvy shoppers to save paying the 5p plastic carrier charge. It’s made from 10oz cotton printed with the Born Free logo on one side and ‘Stay Wild’ on the other. All profits go to helping the charity’s conservation work.

Soft Shell Outerwear Jacket - £43 (available in small to extra large sizes)

Soft Shell Outerwear Jacket from Born Free


If getting outdoors more, or taking up a new sport that involves braving the British weather, is on the agenda for 2018, why not keep warm, dry and stylish with Born Free’s Soft Shell Jacket for men and women. It’s embroidered with the Born Free logo on the front and ‘Stay Wild’ on right sleeve and has a durable water repellent finish.

Virginia McKenna Rose - £13.95 per bear root plant (pot grown plant also available)

Virginia McKenna Rose from Born Free


For those thinking of getting green-fingered in the new year Harkness Roses offers a stunning rose named after Virginia McKenna, profits from which go to Born Free.

Versatile and stunning it has a citronella element to its scent. It comes as the flower opens, not in a young bloom and is very good in wet weather. A rounded bush covered in flower and leaf that can be used in beds, borders, low hedges or a scented patio planter.

Animal Adoption - £2.50PM / £30

Adopt an animal with Born Free

Forget socks and smellies in 2018; mix up gift giving, and adopt an animal for a loved one instead.

With over 18 species to choose from, or the option to purchase a gift voucher so the recipient can choose the species they would like to support, all proceeds from the adoption packs help protect the animals.

Supporters receive a unique pack including a cuddly toy and glossy photo of their chosen animal, a personalised adoption certificate, a copy of the animal’s story, a Born Free window sticker, a Born Free folder and two copies of Born Free’s Adopt! Magazine throughout the year with updates on the adopted animal’s progress.

All gifts and more are available from https://give.bornfree.org.uk/shop
 

    Perfect Presents
    from Prezzybox

Your Yearbook from Prezzybox

Check out the fabulous range of gifts for all the family from Prezzybox.

This Personalised Illustrated London News Year Book will make a lovely gift to start the year. Collected in this A4 Illustrated London News Year Book are vivid pictorial newspaper covers released from the publication, hand bound in a special edition. The book provides the recipient with a glimpse into the Victorian era and thereafter depending on the year chosen for the book. You can choose any year between 1930 and 1988 for the book and what is inside will depend on your chosen year.

Any year picked between 1930 and 1971 will receive 52 front pages from their selected year plus 10 iconic front pages. Any date selected from 1972 onwards will receive 12 front pages plus 50 iconic front pages. The cover will be embossed with the recipient's name of up to 12 characters and the year that you select for the book. A personal message up to 80 characters can also be added to the opening title page. Price is £29.99.

Candlemaking Craft Kit from Prezzybox

Get crafty in the New Year with this fun Candlemaking Craft Kit. The set includes everything you need to make up to 12 candles. As well as a standard pillar candle the kit allows you to make several different shapes and colours, as well as floating and scented candles.

You could make a simple white pillar red rose scented pyramid of blue floating candles. The kit includes step-by-step instructions with clear illustrations to help you make your candles. The consumable parts of the kit are readily available from local craft shops. Price is £14.99.

Fidget Cube from Prezzybox

The iconic Fidget Cube is the perfect gift for someone who likes to keep their hands busy. The ultimate finger gadget, it gives you something to do with your hands when you feel stressed, strained, nervous, anxious or bored.

Pocket sized, it includes six different functions to soothe away your stress. You can glide, roll, click, rub, spin and flip the different parts of the cube in any order you want, whenever you want. Small enough to put in your pocket or handbag, or keep it on your desk for those annoying times when someone at a call centre puts you on hold. Colours vary. Price is £4.99.

Arm Chair Caddy from Prezzybox

Relax and enjoy watching the television with this handy Arm Chair Caddy. Now there's no need to worry where you've left the remote control, pens, where to put your cup of tea or glasses.

Simply place the caddy over any arm rest or on your comfiest arm chair and sit back and relax. With several different sized pockets, pop your favourite book or newspaper inside and you can enjoy sitting comfortably with everything you need close to hand. Price is £8.99.

For more information about Prezzybox click on www.prezzybox.com
 

     Regal Gifts from
Historic Royal Palaces

Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace Mugs from Historic Royal Palaces

Historic Royal Palaces offers a regal selection of gifts for those who love history and the royal family.

Royal Warrant holder, Halcyon Days have produced a collection of mugs inspired by the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. Each mug comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.

The perfect gift for a new home, retirement, or birthday. Each mug is gift boxed. Price is £35.00.

Queen B Make Up Bag from Historic Royal Palaces

Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII's second wife and most notorious. This luxury Queen B Make Up Bag features Anne Boleyn's iconic initial B necklace and has been exclusively designed for Historic Royal Palaces.

With a witty play on words, this Queen B make up bag is just the right size to fit in all of your essentials. 100% cotton. Price is £10.99.

Stag Hip Flask from Historic Royal Palaces

This 6oz Stag Hip Flask is perfect for a drink on a cold country walk. A small standing stag motif decorates the body of the flask.

Made of hallmarked pewter, it will make the perfect retirement or anniversary gift. Price is £29.99.

Grey Beanie Wool Mix Hat with Gemstones from Historic Royal Palaces

Keep warm in style with this sparkly Grey Beanie Wool Mix Hat with Gemstones. Topped with a black pom pom and made with lambswool, the hat is decorated with glittering gem stones.

One size fits all. Made of 40% lambswool and 60% nylon. Hand wash only, with cool water. Price is £30.00.

Historic Royal Palaces Rose Chocolate

Give yourself or a loved one some delicious Historic Royal Palace Rose Chocolate.

The rose adorned range includes a chocolate bar, a book of truffles and a 12 mini bar set of chocolate. Each little chocolate bar is £3.99.

Tower of London Chess Set from Historic Royal Palaces

This elegant Tower of London Chess Set will make a delightful gift to treasure and enjoy.

This hand painted chess set is based on the residents of the Tower of London. Price is £500.00,

Royal Palace China Collection Charm Bracelet

Treat someone special to this delightful Royal Palace China Collection Charm Bracelet.

Inspired by the Royal Palace fine bone china collection, this quirky charm bracelet features tiny versions of this bestselling tea set. Interspersed with sparkling gemstones, butterfly, bumblebee and flowers. Price is £85.00.

For more information about Royal Palace gifts click on www.historicroyalpalaces.com
 

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Brooklyn Boombox from GPO Retro

Already got a turntable and looking for the next retro trend? Then GPO are here to help for Christmas with their new Boombox, straight from the 80s, and a turntable with cassette deck.

The Brooklyn is a boombox heavy on 80s style but plugged in 21st century tech. It plays cassettes but also has a USB port for playback and recording, CD deck, DAB and FM radio. It’s Bluetooth enabled so can stream music from any compatible device.

Two 40 watt speakers give the Brooklyn plenty of power, with controls for volume, balance, bass and treble. Stockists include Nice Stuff, Cuckooland, JD Williams, and Currys. Price is £250.

Flight Turntable from GPO Retro

There are also some other great retro music products available. This stylish GPO Flight is a  fully portable three speed turntable.

Presented in a suitcase casing with handle, it comes complete with a jewel stylus, cassette player and rechargeable battery, so that you can take your music wherever go. Price is £139.95.

PR 50 Turntable from GPO Retro

This handy GPO PR 50 Turntable is another great buy for Christmas. It includes a weight balance arm, pitch function and Audio Technica Cartridge to give a more precise sound.

With aux ports and a Bluetooth transmitter you can connect it to all external speakers. Plug in a USB stick for playback and recording. It plays both 33 and 45 RPM vinyl records. Price is £119.95.

Opal Push Button Telephone from GPO Retro

If you love retro, GPO also offers this super cool Opal Push Button Telephone. Designed to sit next to your bed, the GPO Opal is perfect for long enjoyable chats.

This classic British design is fitted with modern technology so it's compatible with any telephone line and automated service. Price is £67.95.

For more information about GPO retro products click on www.gporetro.com