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Sixtyplusurfers Reviews

The Four Horsemen
By Gregory Dowling
Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

The Four Horsemen by Gregory Dowling

Venice's archives contain every report drawn up by the city's legions of confidential agents and spies. When novelist and academic Gregory Dowling found a leather folder nestling undisturbed at the back of a shelf, he uncovered the testimony of Alvise Marangon, hero of this gripping mystery, set in 1740s Venice.

The story begins when Marangon is arrested in a tavern brawl and is summoned to meet the Missier Grande, head of Venice's powerful secret service. Rather than being expelled from the city, he is coerced into a top-secret investigation of the suspicious death of another agent and the existence of a mysterious secret society. Formed by four rakish noblemen, it is known as the Four Horsemen and can be traced back as far as the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

As Alvise delves into the case, he finds all the hallmarks of corruption, concealment and assassination. Overstepping the bounds of his investigation, he makes enemies of both the Horsemen and the city's authorities. The result is a game of cat and mouse amidst the tangles of Venice's back streets, canals and the outlying islands of the lagoon.

A Venice resident, Dowling gives his readers a true insider's view of the city. This new Marangon adventure is a fast-paced story with murder, romance and long-buried secrets that lead to the very heart of Venetian power.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gregory Dowling's previous book 'Ascension', featuring Alvise Marangon, a Venetian Cicerone (tourist guide) and reluctant spy, so I was keen to read The Four Horsemen.

Gregory has created a very likeable character in Alvise who is clever, fearless, dashing, charming and full of Venetian bravado, courage and spirit.

His quest to save Venice from the mysterious Four Horsemen and recent crime spate takes us through the back streets, local taverns, endless waterways,
and beautiful architecture that make this such a magical city.

Well plotted, entertaining and gripping, this is the perfect Summer read. Gregory paints an atmospheric picture of Venice and reveals much of its colourful history in this action packed novel. I would highly recommend it.

Gregory Dowling

            Author, Gregory Dowling

Gregory Dowling was born and educated in England. He is Associate Professor of American Literature at Ca' Foscari University of Venice. He has published four novels, co-edited two anthologies of poetry, and written various non-fiction books and academic articles on Italian, British and American literature.

He has a special interest in British and American writers in Italy from the Romantic age onwards. He lives in Venice.

The Four Horsemen is published by Polygon. Price is £8.99 for the paperback.

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

The Bureau of Second Chances
By Sheena Kalayil
Review by
Jenny Itzcovitz

The Bureau of Second Chances by Sheena Kalayil

Is going back the only way to start again? After more than thirty years in London, recently widowed Thomas Imbalil returns to India. He spends his first months in uncluttered isolation in his house overlooking the Arabian Sea, in a small fishing village in Kerala. But when he agrees to look after his friend's business, Chacko's Optical Store, he meets and befriends Rani, the young assistant.

Before long he discovers that Rani is using the store to run an intriguing side-business. He agrees to turn a blind eye to her operations until his friend returns, but this discovery makes him restless, and reminds him of the loneliness he is feeling and which also lies ahead of him.

Rani reveals herself as a much more complex individual than he had first imagined, and while he had envisaged a quiet re-acquaintance with his homeland, Thomas finds himself becoming more and more entangled with the lives of those around him.

The Bureau of Second Chances is an evocative tale of life and morality in contemporary India that will appeal to readers of all ages and particularly to fans of Deborah Moggach's 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. It is a gentle, bittersweet novel about the twists and turns of love, family and connection that guarantees to warm your heart.

I was intrigued by the title of this book and was interested to read a novel set in Kerala, a small fishing village in India. Beautifully written, Sheena explores what happens when Thomas Imbalil decides to drastically change his life and move back to his childhood land in India, following the death of his wife.

Thomas presumes that he will have a relaxing retirement, but his life gradually follows new avenues when he takes a job in Chacko's Optical Store and becomes involved with Rani the young assistant.

Sheena tackles many fascinating subjects in this novel including love, loss, the relationship of father and daughter, as Thomas struggles to explain his new life to his daughter, Nina. It also explores marriage and fidelity, and looks at the culture of small town life in India.

Charming, gripping, beautifully written and cleverly plotted, I loved watching the character of Thomas evolve and finding out more about the mysterious Rani. I look forward to reading more books by this talented writer.

Sheena Kalayil

            Author, Sheena Kalayil

Sheena Kalyil was born in Zambia in 1970 where her parents were teachers from Kerala, India. She arrived in the UK aged 18, and after graduating, worked all over the world.

Se now teaches at the University of Manchester and is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics. She lives near Manchester with her husband and daughters.

The Bureau of Second Chances is published by Polygon. Price is £8.99 for the paperback.

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

I Swear By Almighty
G-G-G-God

By Nick Clements

Review by Simon Fine

I Swear By Almighty G-G-G-God by Nick Clements

Nick Clements grew up in Derbyshire in disadvantaged circumstances. Not only did he suffer from an embarrassing and debilitating stutter in an age where mocking someone’s stutter was fair game. Worse still, his father was a work shy, drunkard who stole to pay for his habit and often came home worse for drink and would beat his wife.

Not surprisingly, this unfortunate upbringing had a profound effect on young Nick and from an early age, he was determined to fight crime and he subsequently enjoyed a colourful and often rewarding career in the police force, initially in Derbyshire and then in the Leeds and Bradford areas of Yorkshire.

Leaving school at 15 and moving away from the family home, Nick successfully applied to join police force as a cadet. As a naive teenager in a grown up environment, and with a stutter, Nick tells stories about living in digs, his first adventures with girls and some early experiences in the police force working with some caring and inspiring people who helped him through his qualifications and establish himself in the police but also a few whose behaviour was downright nasty.

PC Nick Clements circa 1984

       PC Nick Clements circa 1984

Nick became a fearless, determined and mould-breaking young policeman. This autobiography is the story of his life in the police. He spent much of his career in the rougher parts of Leeds and Bradford working in the Drugs Squad and the Vice Squad where he discovered that many of the prostitutes were victims of violent and ruthless pimps who Nick took a particular dislike to.

At times Nick’s maverick behaviour and fearless attitude landed him and his colleagues in danger, as he confronted armed criminals and violent gang members on their own patch. At one point Nick takes retribution on his father after his mother suffers yet another beating. As well as Nick’s family troubles and his crime fighting campaigns the book contains many tales that could rightly be described as politically incorrect.

There are many hilarious stories of excitement, passion and illicit sex and affairs which ultimately contributed to two divorces. In his own words “Being in the Job in the sixties, seventies and early eighties, at the height of political incorrectness, was wonderful, and I loved every minute of it”

This memoir tells of a young man’s determination to escape his past and prove himself as a dedicated and fearless representative of the law. It is also a very funny and entertaining autobiography which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Nick Clements

              
Author, Nick Clements

Nick Clements became a police cadet in 1966 at the age of 16. He overcame a crippling stutter to complete his police training and to rise through the ranks to serve in the CID, the Vice Squad and the Drugs Squad.

I Swear By Almighty G-G-G-God is published by
Mereo Books. Price is £12.99 for the paperback.

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

The Jam Maker's Garden
By Holly Farrell
Review by
Simon Fine

The Jam Maker's Garden by Holly Farrell

Many thousands of gardeners enjoy growing their own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. In The Jam Maker’s Garden, Holly Farrell shows how to preserve the best of your home-grown ingredients in jams for many months and even years to come. And not only jams, but chutney, relish, pickle, marmalade, jelly and compote. You can even make your own tomato ketchup.

From planning the jam-maker’s garden through to selecting the best varieties to grow; from sowing and planting to harvesting and foraging, and using tried and tested cooking methods to preserve the best flavour and quality, this book presents 50 recipes for the tastiest jams, chutneys and preserves that you will savour for months.

Everyone loves eating jam but most shop bought jams do not excite the taste buds nor have the freshness of home-grown. Holly shares with us the knowledge to grow the ingredients and create the homemade jams, chutneys and cordials to enjoy all year. Holly describes jam as a taste of summer.

Making your own jam and preserves also avoids wasting any of the seasonal gluts that can overwhelm us each summer and autumn. The basic ingredients for making jam are simply fruit, sugar, lemon juice and water. But there is endless opportunity to personalise the recipes with herbs and spices. Incidentally, making your own means that you can avoid any unwanted extra ingredients which the commercial producers of jam add to their products.

Holly’s recipes for jam include strawberry, gooseberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant, raspberry and cherry. She also offers recipes for redcurrant jelly, cherry compote, blueberry conserve and apple chutney. I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe on pickled cucumber which is a favourite of mine. Once you start thinking about preserving, the opportunities go well beyond the conventional recipes.

The Jam Maker’s Garden is beautifully illustrated by Jason Ingram’s colourful and creative photographs. Jason is an award-winning garden and food photographer. The combination of Holly’s expert advice on growing fruit and vegetables for preserves along with Jason’s high definition photographs makes The Jam Maker’s Garden both a practical guide to the pleasure of making your own jam and a delightful book to adorn your kitchen or bookcase.

Holly Farrell, photograph by Jason Ingram

               Author, Holly Farrell
       Photograph by Jason Ingram


Holly Farrell is the author of Planting Plans for your Kitchen Garden and RHS Plants from Pips. She contributes to gardening magazines such as The Garden and Kitchen Garden. Holly trained at RHS Gardens Wisley where she gained the Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture and the RHS Certificate and Diploma, both with Commendation.

The Jam Maker’s Garden is published by Frances Lincoln. Price is £17.99.

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

Painting The Sand
By Kim Hughes
Review by Simon Fine

Painting The Sand by Kim Hughes

Kim Hughes is the most highly decorated bomb disposal operator serving in the British Army. He was awarded the George Cross in 2009 following a gruelling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan during which he defused 119 improvised explosive devices (IED) and survived numerous Taliban ambushes.

The backdrop to Painting the Sand is the Afghan War, the conflict where the courage of the bomb disposal operator rose to national prominence. No other field of warfare offers the risk of an individual to come so close to his enemy and fight out a battle of wits where losing can mean death.

The book does not pull any punches. Early on we learn of an accidental shooting which left one of Kim Hughes’s colleagues critically injured. On another occasion, an IED kills and injures several soldiers and it is Hughes’s responsibility to diffuse the remaining IEDs and recover the dead and injured.

Helmund was a brutal place for the British army and the Taliban a ruthless and cunning enemy. An armoured vehicle in which Hughes was a passenger is blown up by an IED. Lucky to escape with his life, he suffers concussion and minor injuries but like every mission he went on, it could have been fatal. This first hand account is a story of remarkable courage in the most brutal of circumstances as well as a tale of teamwork and discipline.

At the end of his time in Afghanistan, Hughes met Bob Ainsworth, the then Secretary of State for Defence. Hughes went somewhat off-script, much to the consternation of his commanding officers. But with good reason, Hughes was willing to give his honest opinion and was respected for doing so.

As an individual, Kim Hughes describes how the army gave him the confidence that he lacked at school and a sense of direction and purpose. Unfortunately it also contributed to the breakdown of his marriage as the strain of marrying young and the inevitable relocations and separations put an unbearable strain on Kim’s relationship with his wife.

As a result of his heroic work in Helmund, Kim Hughes was awarded the George Cross. To quote the citation, “Hughes is unequivocally deserving of the highest level of public recognition”. After reading his story, one can only agree.

Staff Sergeant Kim Hughes GC, is a warrant officer in the British Army, an acclaimed public speaker, and a trustee of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.

Painting The Sand is published by Simon & Schuster. Price is £18.99 for the hardback.

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

Shopping & Reviews


Keeping in Touch
with famil.care

 

Keeping in Touch with famil.care


Nothing is more precious than your family, but staying in touch and caring for one another can often be hard and sometimes stressful. Distance and today’s hectic, time-pressured lifestyles means it is difficult to be there for one another all the time, even though our family’s health and happiness is hugely important to us. famil.care offers the answer, helping families to care for and look out for each other, wherever they are in the world.

Co-created by Luca Concone – who in 1989 became the youngest engineer in school history at Milan Polytechnic school – he witnessed first-hand the helplessness and anxiety that so many of us experience, when his mum developed dementia, as well the frustration that the lack of freedom was causing her. With this in mind he created famil.care to help others facing a similar problem and also for those with children to ensure they were safe and to give them peace of mind.


famil.care Senior helps carers and their older relatives to feel more connected and in touch with each other, no matter what the distance

famil.care Senior helps carers and their older relatives to feel more connected and in touch with each other, no matter what the distance. The older relative is given a greater sense of security and freedom as they go about their daily activities, in the knowledge that they are only one click away from their closest network. A greater sense of peace of mind and safety for the whole family.

famil.care works as a monthly software subscription that starts at £5.99 per month for your first product, and is then reduced for every additional product you buy for a different family member.

famil.care comes with a Bluetooth-paired token called ‘Pulse’ to send emergency alarms

Currently famil.care Nexus (the central hub) is available on Apple and Android and famil.care Senior (connected to Nexus) is available on Android.

famil.care comes with a Bluetooth-paired token called ‘Pulse’ to send emergency alarms. This is light (10g), small (roughly the same as a £2 coin), and doesn’t need to be recharged, It works both in and outside, can be used in the shower and is activated automatically in case of a fall.

For more information on this family friendly technology visit https://famil.care/gb-en


Tried & Tested by Jenny Itzcovitz

famil.care Senior helps carers and their older relatives to feel more connected and in touch with each other, no matter what the distance

I have elderly parents and two adult children who live independent lives, and am often concerned about their safety and wellbeing, but I don't want to hold them back in their day-to-day life and activities, so I was keen to try out famil.care.

Easy to use, just download the app on your smartphone and fill in the form with your contact information and your relative's information, and then you're ready to get started.


Once you have subscribed to famil.care, you will receive a 'Pulse' emergency alarm. This is a small SOS and fall detection button and should be given to your elderly relative

Once you have subscribed to famil.care, you will receive a 'Pulse' emergency alarm. This is a small SOS and fall detection button and should be given to your elderly relative. It can be worn around the neck or on a wristband, and works both in and out of the home. This will activate you if your parents or relative have a fall, or they can press it in an emergency.
 

The app itself has really clear and easy to use features so your relative can enjoy using it and interact with you whenever they like. You can set it all up for them behind the scenes, so that it is easy for them to use, with bright and personal images and messages and totally user friendly.

famil.care has a diary feature which helps you manage your relative's routine

I particularly like the Diary feature which helps you to manage your relative's routine. For example you may want to remind them about a doctor's appointment, to take their tablets or a family day out. The diary function allows you to automatically and remotely record voice memos to remind them of these events, such as when to take their medication, or regularly drink some water for example. Your loved one will receive these as personalised messages with the warmth and familiarity of your own voice rather than a computer generated message.

The contacts section is easy to fill in and update as you go along. Just name the contact, you can also add in a photograph, then save it, and your loved one will see it on their mobile phone immediately without doing anything difficult themselves. You can also set up to six priority contacts and remove or replace them as and when you need to.

There are also emergency contacts and these can be ten trusted people, such as the emergency services, yourself, doctor, pharmacist, a neighbour, best friend or work colleague. You can replace or remove these as you go along. This is particularly helpful if you go on holiday and need someone else to take care of your relative's needs.

The SOS button communicates falls and sudden position changes

Sadly falls are frequent among the elderly and can happen anywhere, both in the home, in the garden or out at the shops. Your loved ones might not be able to call for help in these situations. Thanks to the wearable SOS button, famil.care can automatically detect these sudden position changes and falls, and will communicate the incident immediately and effectively before things get worse.


famil.care has thought of everything and the app also provides the option of Safe Zones. With elderly people suffering from dementia, they can often lose their bearings, perhaps even leave home at an unusual time or in the middle of the night.

The Safe Zones feature allows you to set safe areas for your loved ones with options such as Geofencing. This is set up via a GPS locator and automatically detects your senior relatives’ position and alerts you in real-time if they leave a safe area. You will be alerted as soon as there is a problem and be able to keep your relative safe.

famil.care Senior is the perfect solution for anyone with elderly parents or relatives who want to live independently at home but want the freedom to enjoy their lives to the fullest. famil.care Junior is also great for parents with teenagers or young adults going to university or taking their first steps into the adult world. You can keep them safe, have peace of mind and do so in a caring, warm, unobtrusive way that helps them feel loved without feeling trapped or held back in their experiences.



famil.care works as a monthly software subscription that starts at £5.99 per month for your first product.

For more information and to get started visit the website at https://famil.care/gb-en 


To give you a chance to try famil.care Senior for yourself, we're offering one lucky reader the chance to win
a year's subscription to famil.care Senior, and a Moto G5 Smartphone, Android, 5", 4G LTE, SIM Free, 16GB, Gold mobile phone.

Win a year's subscription to famil.care Senior, and a Moto G5 Smartphone, Android, 5", 4G LTE, SIM Free, 16GB, Gold mobile phone

Enter the competition now on the Sixtyplusurfers Competitions & Letters page.
 

Gorgeous Gifts
from Prezzybox

 

Personalised Antique Silver Plated Jewellery Box from Prezzybox


Prezzybox offers a gorgeous selection of gifts for all the family. Check out their extensive range of products, gadgets and personalised gifts which are suitable for every occasion.

This beautiful Personalised Antique Silver Plated Jewellery Box will make a romantic birthday or anniversary present. Use it to store precious jewellery or other special trinkets. The box is hinged and lined in a black floral fabric, and will look elegant and stylish on your dressing table.

Personalised Antique Silver Plated Jewellery Box from Prezzybox

Personalise the lid with the message of your choice. Choose from over 4 lines, with up to 20 characters per line. This personalised silver plated jewellery box will be treasured for many years to come.

Put a special gift inside to complete the surprise. Price is £29.99 including personalisation.

Treat yourself and a loved one to an Afternoon Tea Cruise On The Thames For Two with Prezzybox

Stuck for a special gift for your loved one, a close friend or relative? Why not treat them to a special afternoon tea, spa day or mini break. Prezzybox offers a full selection of treats and days out according to your preference.

This Afternoon Tea Cruise On The Thames For Two is one of my favourites. Based in Greater London and departing from Embankment Pier at 3.30pm this tranquil river cruise will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city, under the Tower Bridge, past the South Bank, The Shard and Big Ben, to name just a few of London's famous landmarks, so don't forget to bring your camera!

Treat yourself and a loved one to an Afternoon Tea Cruise On The Thames For Two with Prezzybox

While you are relaxing and taking in the beautiful views and scenery, you will be able to enjoy delicious sandwiches, scones, pastries and tea for two. To make your day out even more special, a pianist will provide background music to set the scene as you go on your way. You will return to Embankment Pier at 4.45pm.

The gift voucher for the afternoon tea cruise is valid for 10 months and is for two people. The cruises operate from April to October only. All dates are subject to availability. And minimum age is 5 years old. Price is £64.00.


Design Your Own Fragrance set from Prezzybox

Are you looking for a gift with a difference, perhaps for your other half, a family member or your best friend? This beautiful Design Your Own Fragrance set is perfect for anyone who enjoys wearing luxurious perfume and enjoys being creative.

The set includes six 9ml perfume blends selected by Master Perfumer, Franois Robert (aldehydic with key notes of aldehydes, violet and ylang ylang, rose floral with key notes of rose, violet and orris, exotic floral with key notes of jasmine, violet and sandalwood, heady floral with key notes of jasmine, ylang ylang and tuberose, balsamic with key notes of pear, tonka and vanilla and gentle floral with key notes of bergamot, muguet and cardamom), one 30ml dressing table atomiser, six pipettes, six scent strips and an easy to follow instruction booklet.

Design Your Own Fragrance set from Prezzybox

The kit includes a beautiful glass 30ml dressing table atomiser, six pipettes, six scent strips and an easy to follow instruction booklet.

Only the highest quality perfume ingredients are included in the fragrance set. Price is £39.99.

Personalised Birthday Vase from Prezzybox

Mark someone special's birthday with this elegant Personalised Birthday Vase. This beautiful vase is something to treasure forever and comes with the wording Happy Birthday.

The vase can be personalised with the recipient's age of up to 2 digits, and also a special message of up to four lines with 20 characters available on each. This gives you the space to write a heartfelt poem, a special message, or simply your name.

The vase alone also makes a great feature in the home - even without flowers. Price is £16.99.

Computer Mouse in Diamanté Pink from Prezzybox

Add a splash of sparkle to your desk with this glitzy Computer Mouse in Diamant
é Pink. This easy to use mouse  has an optical sensor and scroll wheel and is the hottest accessory for your desk.

Ready to 'plug and play', product features include a scroll wheel, precise optical sensitivity, and 800 dpi sensitivity.

Computer Mouse in Diamanté Pink from Prezzybox

This super cool mouse lights up your desk as you work. Minimum product requirements are PC or Macintosh platforms, 50MB of hard disk space,  32MB of system RAM, and one available USB 1.1 port. Price is £9.99.

 

Peg Board from Prezzybox

Got nowhere to leave your important notes? Then treat yourself to a Peg Board. This handy message board will give your home a fun retro feel. Perfect for the kitchen, living room or bedroom.

Use it to leave notes for your family, shopping lists or to give yourself clear personal reminders. The board comes with 350 letters, symbols and numbers in white and yellow colours. The board includes holes in the back for easy wall hanging. Dimensions are 12cm x 30cm. Price is £11.99.

Cat Mood Light from Prezzybox

Cat lovers will adore this cute Cat Mood Light. The purrr-fect way to add a relaxing, calm, glowing mood to a room, this sweet little cat is portable and lightweight.

Cat Mood Light from Prezzybox

It gently flows through 7 different soothing colours, bringing a peaceful feel to any environment. Simply install 3 AAA batteries (not included), for hours of softly shining cuteness.

The Cat Mood Light is presented in an attractive gift box. Price is £7.99

Cat Mood Light from Prezzybox

For more information about Prezzybox visit the website at www.prezzybox.com
 

   Sixtyplusurfers Competition

    Win a Unicone
 from Jakks Pacific


Win a Unicone from Jakks Pacific


Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Jakks Pacific to offer two lucky readers the chance to win a Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker, so you can have fun making delicious chilled desserts with your children and grandchildren.

The Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker is the only unicorn-shaped chilled dessert maker! Children aged 5-10 will love mixing up the chilled dessert and creating the perfect rainbow swirl every time.

The Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker is the only unicorn-shaped chilled dessert maker

It’s the only chilled treat maker delivering its tasty surprise through the magic of a unicorn! It’s a great gift, easy to make, and fun for the whole family.

Use it to top cupcakes and cookies. Recipe cards provided so you can even use ingredients from home to make your own treat! The delicious dessert is a vanilla-flavoured mousse style treat.

The 13 piece set includes a Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker, bowl, spatula, two measuring spoons, a sprinkles horn, two recipe cards, dispenser, two reusable cones with two spoons

The 13 piece set includes a Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker, bowl, spatula, two measuring spoons, a sprinkles horn, two recipe cards, dispenser, two reusable cones with two spoons. All you need to provide are the ingredients from home - and lots of friends to enjoy eating the delicious chilled rainbow swirl desserts.

The Unicone is available from Jakks Pacific and is suitable for ages 6 and over. Price is £14.99.

For more information visit the website at
http://www.jakks.com

   For Your Chance to Win

Tell us which magical animal features on the Unicone Rainbow
Swirl Maker?

      a) Alpaca
      b) Meerkat
      c) Unicorn
      d) Reindeer 


 To Enter the Competition

Tell us which magical animal features on the Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker? Then send in your answer, together with your full name, postal address and telephone number to the Sixtyplusurfers email address as shown below:
sixtypluscomp@hotmail.co.uk

* Please label your entry
Unicone Rainbow Swirl
Maker Competition
 

     * This competition is open to our
                      UK visitors only

 

 Great Gifts from The
 Contemporary Home

Flamingo Mug from The Contemporary Home

The Contemporary Home offers a gorgeous range of gifts for the home, birthday and anniversary presents, and brightening up your life.

Enjoy your afternoon tea in this gorgeous biscuit coloured Flamingo Mug. Decorated with adorable pink flamingos, this delightful mug will make a welcome gift for a friend or relative. Other matching products are also available in the range.

Botanic Tea Bag Saver from The Contemporary Home

Don't let those used tea bags mount up on an old random saucer or clog up the sink, this handy Botanic Tea Bag Saver is the perfect way to collect them, and looks pretty on your counter top.

Shaped like a mini teapot, this attractive tea bag saver is part of the Botanical collection. Price is £5.00.

Canvas Vegetable Bag from The Contemporary Home

Pack in your five a day and fill up this Canvas Vegetable Bag with a colourful array, of veggies to keep the doctor at bay!

This colourful and fun to use hessian sack has backpack drawstrings, a bright vegetable illustration on one side and a lush green reverse. Whether it’s for stylish shopping or simple storage, this  is a natural choice for your fruit and veg.

Measurements are height 40cm, width 33cm and depth 14cm. Price is £8.00.

Nautical Heart Peg Garland from The Contemporary Home

This neat little Nautical Heart Peg Garland is perfect for displaying photos and postcards, or using as a memo-holder.

This beautiful little string garland of heart-shaped pegs is decorative, unusual, and pretty clever, too! Each of the 12 wooden hearts is painted in soft, sea-sidey colours, and conceals a small yet sturdy clothes peg. Measurement is approximately 90cm. Price is £6.50.

Fish Peg Clips from The Contemporary Home

These eyecatching nautical style Fish Peg Clips are great for marking a page in a recipe book, pegging up reminders around the house, or thread them onto a piece of string to make a memo garland.

Available as a set of three pegs. Price is £4.50.

Sun Sea & Sand wall art from The Contemporary Home

Whether you live by the seaside or not, add a nautical touch to your home with this Sun Sea & Sand wall art.

Painted in a beautiful ocean blue, this hangable decoration is perfect for those who love the seaside! Ideal for hanging in any room, there is two small holes so you can choose what material you hang this wall art with. Height is 26cm and width is 23cm. Price is £6.50.

Crocodile Notebook from The Contemporary Home

Write down your notes, shopping lists, reminders, take down telephone messages, or simply doodle inside this friendly Crocodile Note Book.

This fun notebook has plain paper inside and measures 19cm. Price is £3.50.

For more information visit The Contemporary Home website at www.tch.net
 

  Special Gifts from
   Getting Personal

Personalised Bone China 'Purveyors of Fine Tea' Teapot from Getting Personal

Check out the great new range of personalised gifts from Getting Personal.

This beautiful Personalised Bone China 'Purveyors of Fine Tea' Teapot is guaranteed to impress and make a stylish addition to your home. It will also make a fantastic and truly unique gift for any tea drinker, that will be treasured for years to come.

This elegant gift features a simple design, making it perfect for a spot of tea and cake in the afternoon. The name and town of your choice will appear on the front of the teapot, and you can choose either a single name or family name as the Purveyor of the fine tea. Price is £24.99.

Checklist Doormat from Getting Personal

Make sure you have everything ready for your day ahead with this handy Checklist Doormat. The mat read ‘Keys, Purse, Phone’ and can be personalised with a fourth tick box, such as ‘Lipstick’ or ‘Lunch’.

The mat is designed for indoor use and is a great way to brighten up your hallway. Personalise it with a word of your choice in up to 16 characters. Use the innovative preview function to see how your personalisation will look. Simply enter the word and press the Preview button. Price is £26.99.

Personalised Crystal Glasses from Getting Personal

When the working week is done, there's nothing better than coming home and unwinding with a glass of your favourite spirit or cool drink. And these Personalised Crystal Glasses will be a welcome addition to you or your loved one's drinks cabinet.

Made from lead-free crystal with a stunning bronze rim, this set of two tumblers are perfect for enjoying a glass of their favourite tipple after a long day. You can personalise the set with a name and date to be carefully engraved in bold and script fonts on the glasses, each finished with two diamond icons for that added sense of style.

Use Getting Personal's new innovative preview feature to see how your personalisation will look. Simply enter the name and date you wish to appear and press the Preview button. Price is £39.99.

For more information about Getting Personal click on
www.GettingPersonal.co.uk
 

  Remote Controlled
      Flying Minions
     from Wow! Stuff

Remote-controlled flying Minion from Wow! Stuff

A new range of remote-controlled flying Minions characters are ready to fly off shelves from Wow! Stuff, following the highly anticipated release of Illumination’s Despicable Me 3.

The collectable characters include fan favourites such as Minion Dave, Fluffy the Unicorn, plus a special limited edition Prison Minion Dave.

Remote-controlled flying Minion from Wow! Stuff

Suitable for children aged 8 years and over, the Flying Minion Dave’s and Flying Fluffy toys feature innovative auto flight technology so children will have hours of fun flying their favourite characters through the air.

A simple controller activates the propellers to start and stop flights, while proximity sensors on the base detect objects underneath, moving the toy up and away from obstacles.

Remote-controlled flying Fluffy the Unicorn from Wow! Stuff

Designed by British inventors, Wow! Stuff, each toy in the Flyers range includes a hand flyer with built-in rechargeable batteries, an infrared handset, USB charging cable and full instructions.

Each cute flying Minions character from Wow! Stuff is £25.00.

Remote-controlled flying Minion from Wow! Stuff

For stockist details call 0870 054 6000.

Or take a look at the Wow! Stuff website at  www.wowstuff.co.uk
 

     Dobble 1,2,3

Dobble 1,2,3 from Asmodee

Dobble 1,2,3 is a great new educational game for young children from Asmodee.

A game of speed, observation, and reflexes, this simple pattern recognition game gives children the chance to learn numbers, colours and shapes.

Presented in a colourful, sturdy tin, Dobble 1,2,3 is perfect for taking on holiday, and is the ideal way to encourage young children to become familiar with simple numbers and also promotes verbal dexterity and language skills.

Dobble 1,2,3 from Asmodee

Dobble 1,2,3 is the latest release in the highly successful Dobble series of card games. For those who do not know Dobble, it is a game of speed, observation and reflexes, in which players race to find the one matching image between one card and another. Images may be of different sizes and placed on any part of the card making them difficult to spot.

Every card is unique and has only one picture in common with every other card on the deck. You can also play more advanced versions of the game, according to the age of the players.

Suitable for children aged 3 and over, the game can be played by one to five players and takes around 10 minutes. Price is £12.99.

Dobble 1,2,3 from Asmodee

Dobble 1,2,3 is available to buy now from www.amazon.co.uk