The Eagle – Cambridge

Whether you are new to Cambridge or have been living here for many years, The Eagle Pub offers something for everyone. It is situated on Benet Street just off King’s Parade right in the heart of Cambridge. Whether you want to meet your friends, have a good night out or meet new people to discuss the latest Cambridge news, this pub is perfect for any occasion.

The Eagle is beautifully decorated and offers a wide range of cask ales, draught beers, wines and other beverages. They have a very good menu, mainly encompassing traditional English cuisine. Their Lamb Shank has a very good reputation and is highly recommended. Click here for their full menu.

The pub also offers a great deal of local and international history. It is one of the oldest inns in Cambridge, dating back to the 14th century. At the back is the Royal Airforce Bar, with signatures of pilots all over. This room is also decorated with the pictures of history of the Veterans of the Second World War. If that is not history enough, legend also holds that Watson and Crick stormed into the pub in 1953 to announce that they had discovered the secret of life. They meant of course their co-discovery of the structure of DNA with Rosalind Franklin. Their work was based in the adjacent Cavendish Laboratory, the Physics Department of the University of Cambridge. A plaque outside the pub on Benet Street is in memory of the two scientists. Whenever my brother comes to visit Cambridge, we meet in the Eagle and wait for our own scientific Eureka moment.

The pub is very popular and also offers seats outside, ideal for the spring and summertime.

8, Benet Street
Tel: 01223 505020

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Great news for Cambridge! The Royal Couple have been given the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following their wedding today. The titles were given by Her Majesty the Queen as part of a long standing tradition of giving new titles on the wedding days of members of the Royal Family.

This is fantastic news for Cambridge and will help the status of the city nationally and internationally. It will also help the city in its bid for Lord Mayor status, which it is currently applying for. Duke of Cambridge as a title was first mentioned as a designation for Charles Stuart (1660–1661), who was the eldest son of James, Duke of York. However, Charles died in his infancy and he was never formally created Duke of Cambridge. A string of childhood tragedies hit the family with the title being bestowed upon his next sons, who also died very young. The title was created in 1664 for his son James Stuart and again for his son Edgar Stuart in 1667. The dukedom was created a third time in 1706 when George, Electoral Prince of Hanover (1683–1760), only son of George, Elector of Hanover (later King George I) would become Duke of Cambridge. The title was later merged in the crown. The Dukedom of Cambridge was again created in 1801 but after the death of the last Duke of Cambridge in 1904, it became extinct.

Duke is the highest title that can be given in the British peerage. The re-establishment of the dukedom of Cambridge has been celebrated in the local Cambridge news and will help the city of Cambridge and the county of Cambridgeshire.

The wedding today attracted large crowds in London and was watched by millions of people all over the world. But will Kate and William last? Read more in our exclusive article by Sloan Sheridan-Williams on City Connect.

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Children’s Charity Searching for Thrillseekers to Take to Skies

Action for Children is on the look out for high fliers in Cambridge to parachute out of a plane at 12,000 feet and help raise money for vulnerable children, young people and families across the UK.

The children’s charity is hoping to sign up 100 jumpers to take part in The Big Jump at March airfield on Father’s Day, Sunday 19 June. No prior experience is needed to take part in the event as a full training course is provided on the day and the tandem skydive is free for all jumpers who raise £395 or more in sponsorship.

Laura Hanratta, who is the regional fundraiser of Action for Children, said: “The Big Jump is an extremely exciting way to support Action for Children. It’s a hugely popular event and the thrill of falling through the clouds at 120 mph has people coming back year after year.

“If it’s something you’ve always wanted to accomplish or that you simply can’t wait to do again, then we urge you to show your support for Action for Children by signing up and helping to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people supported by Action for Children in Cambridge.”

Actress and comedienne Jessica Hynes took part in last year’s Big Jump. She said:  “I’ve taken my action for children by jumping out of a plane from 12,000 feet.

“It was the most exhilarating and terrifying experience of my life so far! And do you know what the best bit is? By doing my skydive, I’m helping Action for Children to support the UK’s 1.5 million neglected children. I’d recommend it to anyone…So come on guys – take your action for children and show your support.”

For a free information pack about the Big Jump please call Action for Children fundraiser Laura Hanratta on 01284 755953 or email

Media contact: Jonathan Street on 07809 595240 or email

Press release from Action for Children , a charity that works with the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people: whose families need support, are in care, who are disabled and who experience severe difficulties in their lives.

Quality of Life Highest in South Cambridgeshire

In answer to your question about moving out of London to a rural area for a fresh start, we thoguht the following survey results would be of interest.

According to a survey by the Halifax on every rural area in the UK, South Cambridgeshire is the best place to live. It is on the top of the league table followed by East Herfordshire and Uttlesford. The area offers great job prospects with an employment rate of 79%, an average life expectancy of 81.6 years and 95% of people reported to be in good health. Most of the prosperity in the area is generated by the university city it encircles and a plethora of biotech companies around the city of Cambridge. The average income in the area is one of the highest in the country with £739 a week. Employment in the R&D sector is 18 times that of the national average and the unemployment rate is below 2%, one of the lowest in the entire European Union. This also has resulted in a strong increase of housing prices in the area in 2010, showing that the recession has barely touched the area.

All rural areas of Britain were measured by this Halifax survey and criteria included employment, crime, weather, traffic, school exam results and health to name but a few.

Interestingly, people in South Cambridgeshire get better weather than most of the rest of the UK, with a third less precipitation than most of the country. Maybe the forefathers of the university who settled here over 800 years ago noticed that at their arrival? Now the 140,000 residents of the region can enjoy an elevated level of sunshine compared to the rest of the UK.

The top of league table was dominated by regions from the South and South-East of England. However, rural areas in the North generally scored higher in exam results, had lower traffic levels and a better environment. Although austerity have not greatly touched South Cambridgeshire, the area has seen some public spending cuts on transport over the past two years. There is a high reliance on cars in the area, which congests in particular the city centre of Cambridge.

Another great contributor to local prosperity is tourism, which attracts people in particular to Cambridge.

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Film Review: Red Riding Hood

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about “Red Riding Hood” and the story’s metaphors. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website

A cross between ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Peter and the Wolf’ and ‘Twilight’,  this version of Red Riding Hood delivers on the sweet romance front however rests on the precipice of veering into dark unsettling terrority never quite taking the leap needed to scare the audience.

Amanda Seyfried plays the lead protagonist Valerie, a beautiful charming vibrant young woman torn between two men. She is bequeathed to a wealthy gentleman by the name of Henry but is in love with Peter, as a mysterious brooding outsider, portrayed Shiloh Fernandez.

Valerie and Peter brought together by a love so strong are planning to run away together to avoid Valerie marrying Henry. They then learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by a monster that prowls the dark forest that surrounds the village. Just like in the film ‘The Village’, until now there has been a truce with the beast where so long as the inhabitants bring the creature a monthly sacrifice they will come to no harm, but unlike ‘The Village’ this beast is real and that to a werewolf. It appears the blood red moon has become too much for the wolf who has now taken a human life and that obviously breaks the truce.

Enter Gary Oldman, as Father Solomon, whom the people of the village call upon to kill the werewolf in an act of revenge. The twist although not unexpected is that Father Solomon explains to the village that the wolf can actually take human form and can be any one of them. The death count continues to increase with each new moon and Valerie begins to suspect that the wolf may be closer than she thinks. Once Valerie’s suspicions are aroused she becomes both the suspect and the next potential victim.

I must say as an original fan of the 1984 film ‘The Company of Wolves’ I was prepared to be disappointed by yet another remake of Red Riding Hood. There is definitely visual appeal far greater than anything achievable in 1984 without the use of CGI, however the dialogue seems somewhat lacking. Perhaps the market is quite like Twilight and aiming for the teenage female audience, however if you look deeper into the underlying psychological issues such as repression, desire, revenge and longing, this may just have the makings of a psycho–thriller. Unfortunately for some this is a PG13 film in the States and has a similar classification here, therefore there is an absence of blood and gore which does leave it somewhat lacking for the Saw genre fans requiring a good dose of true horror.

Red Riding Hood does have it good points, it has at least stayed grounded in the medieval style fantasy of allowing the viewer to escape to a place where werewolves and witches exist and the church is a higher power setting rules by which to live by. It is easy to fall in love with Seyfried’s character Valerie no doubt she will be universally loved, she is virtuous, she is tempted, she is trusting and she has good intentions but like the majority of us she leaves herself open to the pitfalls of love, life and seduction. Artistically Valerie’s fondness for wearing a vibrant red cloak is stunning in look and clever in its underlying meaning of sexual awakening.

The film also attempts to retain some of the framework of the children’s story, albeit with artistic variation. Fairy tales are often used to speak to both our conscious and unconscious, therefore do not need to avoid contradictions because these can easily exist in our subconscious. This does not translate into film as well in this instance. The original fairytale speaks of human passions, oral greediness, aggressive behaviour and sexual desires. In the original there is no conspiracy of adults, the heroine is forced to mend her ways via her own conscious and not the way society demands. With the presence of Father Solomon, Gary Oldman’s character inhabits a moral grey area but the script does not delve quite how I would like it to on the complexity of his motivations

The original also know as Little Red Cap concentrates on the child-like view about whether to live by the pleasure principle or in the real world. It deals very well with situations where we are at a cross roads and we make the wrong choice. What is interesting in both this film and the original fairytale, is that the wolf at all times has the ability to eat both Little Red Cap and Valerie yet chooses not to do so at the beginning of the story. Cynics may say that this is because Valerie cannot be eaten in the first 20mins of the film but psychologists may look at this as the fact the grandmother must be eaten before Little Red Cap in a bid for the transformation into adulthood. Perhaps the film is trying to portray the wolf’s selfish, violent and potentially destructive tendencies as representative of the id, in contrast to the unselfish, thoughtful attributes of the ego who may or may not be a character who will save Valerie.

Hardwicke as a director is remarkable in playing the red herring game and although I did guess the werewolf, I hear that many did not. To me the disappointment of the film was the lack of romantic chemistry, however the highlight was indeed the mastery displayed when it comes to creating atmosphere.  I really did get a sense of the isolation in the village and the power wielded by Father Solomon and appreciated the lack of blood and gore although I do realise not all will take this view. It is a beautiful motion picture potentially appealable to the Twilight crowd but also reaching a further audience. Well worth a view, but I would only rate it 3 stars out of 5.

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Trailer reproduced from ClevverTV/Warner Bros Pictures

William and Kate – Will They Last?

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about Prince William and Kate Middleton giving her opinion on the likely success of their relationship ahead of the forthcoming Royal Wedding. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website

Well a question no doubt on everyone’s lips is whether Wills and Kate are destined to be together. Many people wonder whether the temporary split is still a niggle between them or whether it is the foundation that will hold them together. When people are not pondering about this they are questioning whether Kate has what it takes to be part of the Royal family given her different background, but perhaps it is these differences that make this couple so special.

I think the official interview (courtesy of the Royal Channel) given by the couple as shown in this clip below is a good indicator as to the success of their relationship.

In the beginning of this interview, Prince William is asked about how he proposed. All in all he seems proud that he was romantic and the setting in Africa seems idealistic. It is interesting to note around 58 seconds into the clip, he purses his lips almost as if he is holding some information back. He then licks his lips which could be as simple as a comforter or could be because his mouth is dry which is one indicator that someone could be withholding information. At the end of the day, this couple should have some secrets and be allowed to not reveal everything so I would conclude that the proposal story is genuine and although a long time coming was actually perfectly timed for this happy couple.

It is interesting to note that William’s comforters increase when Kate is talking. For example, his hands touch each other more, at some stages actually rubbing his fingers. This is seen throughout the clip, a good example is just after a minute in but if you watch closely it is pretty constant. He is obviously no stranger to media questions so I would also hazard a guess it is because Kate is now being subjected to questioning, which she has not been accustomed to in such a way before.

The couple are however very natural at times, William more so. A good clip to see this is approximately 2:18 minutes in when he is talking about how he feels like a duck calm on the surface of the water but little feet paddling frantically beneath. William is full of genuine smiles, animated language and hand gestures. He continues to openly discuss his feelings and how it was difficult to hide the engagement which again seems genuine, his hand gestures are open and there are no signs of deception on his face. It appears he also kept quiet about the engagement to give Kate time to adapt and change her mind. Luckily she didn’t as they do seem like a potentially good couple, it is almost beautiful to watch as the interviewer proceeds in asking about children (approx. 4:18mins in) and Wills has a shy but excited smile and Kate’s face lights up with a full on nervous giggle to boot. It is a shame that this natural burst of emotion is quickly maintained by both parties and you see Kate very aware of the cameras again. This is not a criticism as no doubt it must be hard for her. You cannot choose who you love.

The interview continues on with a lot of hand comforters from William and a few mouth indicators from Kate showing at times a repressed desire to speak and at others a frustration and tension.

At 9:18mins in the interviewer has asked about the break up and you can see immediately Kate brushes her hair back, then you can see her physically relive some obviously very tough moments for her. Her lips turn down showing outwards signs of sadness and displeasure but she brings it back with a vocabulary that makes her appear like the strong woman that she will have to be to live in this media spotlight.

The couple no doubt have extra stress and strain from the press but when William talks about the relationship being fun (11:10mins) you see a genuine interaction and exchange between the couple which is no doubt how their friends see them

The interviewer then takes it to a point which I think a little unfair, but perhaps that is just life in the spotlight, when he mentions Diana and how Kate will live up to her memory. William quite obviously looks sad and it does not take an expert to see this. Kate on the receiving end of the question deflects it as best she can but her body language including nose flair, pursed lips, deep swallow and even a lick of her lips during the word intimidating tell a very different story. It seems an unfair question as no-one is asking Kate to be Diana but one that they both did well to recover from considering how difficult they found it.

Another potential unfair question (in my opinion) was when the reporter asked Kate how she felt about criticism. No doubt anyone would be lying if they said they were ok with horrendous rumours going around about them whether they are true or not, so it was no surprise to see deeper swallows (15.10mins onwards) with Kate looking down, lips turned downwards, and an outright deflection of the question. This reporter didn’t give up and repeats the question and Kate shows that she is already learning to deflect questions, she needs more practice in controlling her body language but I think that will come in time as her vocabulary although slightly stilted is very good at avoidance.

It is nice to see the couple return to a happier state at around 16:32mins in when they both have very genuine and animated reactions to the question about whether they are excited about the wedding. It is even sweeter to see Wills comfort Kate at 17:10mins by patting her on the knee while she is talking about learning the ropes and working hard at being his wife.

The interview finally ends as expected with relief from the couple that they survived.

I think this video showed Kate can handle the press, yes she needs work but it will come. It was a valiant effort; Will is obviously there to support her through it all. As a couple I think they will do wonderfully, although a quick brush up on controlling a few of their indicators from their experts and speech writers would probably hold them in good stead for the future as the media can be a tough forum to start out a marriage.

I wish them all the best and hope for sunshine on their happy day.

Top image reproduced from MamaPop
Bottom image reproduced from Bespoke Wardrobe

Buyers Guide: Top 5 Home Accessories

There is so much choice out there when it comes to accessorizing the home that deciding what items to go for can be a bit of an interior design headache. Debenhams has an excellent range of home accessories and I’ve chosen my top 5 must-have items that highlight the best of their selection. Whether you’re going for the vintage look or contemporary style, there’s something to suit any taste at Debenhams with many items now reduced in their Easter Extravaganza sale.

Retro Telephones
Add some retro style to your home with a classic telephone. This Wild & Wolf trim telephone takes you back to the 70s with its bold turquoise colour and funky design. Create a chic vintage look by coordinating it with other retro accessories or position it on its own as a bold statement piece.

Union Jack Cushions
With the Royal Wedding and St George’s Day both coming up this month, there is a visible patriotic influence appearing in home accessories. Union Jacks are on everything from teacups to plant pots. Cushions are a simple way to reflect this style trend in the home and they can be a talking point amongst your guests. This BDL by Ben de Lisi cushion has a trendy Union Jack design on the front with a bright red back and a contrasting yellow trim.

Lacquer Photo Frames
Bright colours aren’t just a trend for your wardrobe – update your decor with bold photo frames in glossy bright colours. Add accents of colour to a room using brightly coloured frames. The Butterfly by Matthew Williamson lacquer frames in bright blue are a personal favourite and is available in two sizes – 4” x 6” and 6” x 8”.

Artificial Flowers
Flowers help make a house a home – but using fresh flowers can be costly as they are usually past their best after a few days and often need replacing. A great alternative is to use quality artificial flowers to decorate the home which last for years and never need watering! Artificial flowers already arranged in a vase will add instant colour and warmth to a room. Top florist Jane Packer has designed a beautiful plastic floral collection for Debenhams. The prettiest and most unusual item from the collection is this blue hyacinth in square glass vase.

Decorative Table Lamps
Lighting has always been the ideal way to transform a room and table lamps are perfect to add atmosphere and decoration to the home. The best designs to go for are lamps that look just as decorative when they’re off as when they’re on – which is why I love these stunning rocha.john rocha cut out lamps. They are subtle as well as stylish and look like an attractive ornament when not lit. The lamps are available in small and large.

All these home accessories plus many more are available from the Debenhams website or visit your nearest store by using their Store Finder.

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Buyers Guide: Colourworks

It’s time to celebrate the first birthday of the Colourworks collection – a comprehensive range of cookware that combines functional materials with stylish design and bright colours perfect for this time of year. Designed by the award-winning kitchenware company – Kitchen Craft – and launched at the beginning of 2010, the collection is a versatile and cost-effective way of adding funky colourful style to any kitchen. Versatility comes from the option to mix, match and co-ordinate items from the Colourworks collection which are available in a selection of fun colours including this season’s on-trend colour – orange. Prices start from £6 making the range very cost-effective.

Different high quality materials such as silicone, nylon, stainless steel and melamine are used throughout the collection, giving choice and adding their own benefits to suit different cooking scenarios. Hygiene and flexibility come from the use of silicone which is totally safe to use on non-stick surfaces. Colourworks utensils are also stain resistant and heat resistant up to 260°C which makes them perfect for all cooking applications. The majority of utensils are dishwasher safe. What’s more, every item in the collection comes with a 5 year guarantee which demonstrates their durability and longevity.

Kitchen Craft is one of the UK’s largest kitchenware companies and has won numerous industry awards year on year. The company was first established in 1850 by Thomas Plant and is still a family-run business to this day, being owned and managed by members of the Plant family who are direct descendants of the founder. Kitchen Craft is an international business and their products can be found in leading department stores, cookshops and mail order companies in the UK and around the world.

Selected items from the Colourworks collection can be found in all good cookshops and department stores nationwide, including the BHS and Debenhams stores in Cambridge’s Grafton Centre. Below are some of my favourite items from the collection available at BHS.

Reversible Chopping Board
This chopping board is made from polyethylene which is non-toxic, non-stick and stain resistant. Because it is reversible, you can safely cut raw meat on one side and vegetables on the other thus avoiding cross contamination of food. The polyethylene is also gentle on knives which means that you can chop away with the confidence that your blades will stay sharper for longer.

Measuring Spoon Set
This five piece measuring spoon set includes measurements of 1/4tsp, 1/2tsp, 1tsp, 1/2tbs and 1tbs so they are ideal for use when following recipes that require exact measurements for perfect results every time.

Silicone Cupcake Cases
These silicone 7cm (3”) cupcake cases are sure to brighten any day of baking. Being silicone these cases are re-usable as well as being heat and stain resistant. They are available in a pack of twelve containing cases in each of the Colourworks colours to enable you to co-ordinate with other items in the range.

Melamine Colander
This colander is made from virtually unbreakable melamine and is perfect for draining pasta or vegetables. It features a stylish two tone design – white on the inside and coloured on the outside – and has a capacity of 2.5 Litres.

Ice Cream Scoop
This ice cream scoop has a wide angled ergonomically designed handle with soft touch panel which makes serving ice cream easy and comfortable every time.

‘Y’ Shaped Swivel Peeler
This swivel peeler has a fully rotating stainless steel blade on its ‘Y’ shaped head which is specially designed for fast and efficient peeling.

Can Opener
This can opener with wide angled, soft touch ergonomic handle which is comfortable to use and makes opening cans a quick and easy task.

Wing Corkscrew
This wing corkscrew with double soft touch handles and body is sure to brighten any kitchen or dining table. The double handles are comfortable to use and will make opening wine bottles quick and easy.

Silicone Tongs
These silicone tongs have stainless steel arms and are 30cm long. Available in a range of colours, they are guaranteed to brighten up any kitchen or barbeque. They can be used safely on non-stick surfaces and are heat resistant to 260°C as well as being stain resistant.

Flexible Silicone 28cm Splatter Guard
This long handled silicone splatter guard is heat resistant to 260°C and will protect you and your surfaces from spitting fat when frying. It is a really useful addition to the kitchen battery of tools and utensils.

To see more of the Colourworks collection, pay a visit to BHS Cambridge:
29 Grafton Centre
East Road
Tel: 0845 841 0154

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Gabriel Orozco at Tate Modern Until 25 April

The Orozco exhibition, unlike Susan Hillier’s at Tate Britain (to be reviewed next week), has no constant themes. The accent is on diversity. Like Orozco himself his works are not rooted to one place, each is a focused response to a particular place and time resulting in a diverse approach to each work.

Yielding stone: 1992, a giant ball of plasticine sits on the floor as a brooding grey boulder in the gallery space. As an exact weight of the artist, it was rolled through the streets of New York collecting dust, dirt and imprints along its journey, a reflection of the artist’s movement at that time as a response to his life and the environment.

Sitting within the same gallery space sits Elevator: 1994, clean and illuminated on the inside, the open doors inviting the viewer to enter while its old rusting, rarely seen outer mechanical body provides a stark contrast. Orozco has cut away a section of the lift so as to relate it to the human scale as a sculptural piece. The work is a fascinating object, rarely seen in this way as a whale out of water, Orozco likened the piece in a gallery to “turning the peel of a half orange inside out”.

In a separate room stands a pool table named after the French variation,Carambole with pendulum:1996. Unlike any other pool table this one is oval and with no pockets. Two balls sit on the table while a third hangs suspended slightly above, challenging the viewer to try and hit it. There are no winners or losers in this game although the viewers are invited to make their own rules. The table applies some interesting physical laws including Foulcault’s pendulum that demonstrated the earth’s rotation whereas I only wanted to hit the dangling ball and almost succeeded in taking out an innocent bystander.

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The Willow Tree – Bourn

The Willow Tree is a charming gastropub situated in the pretty village of Bourn. The delicious modern menu, great selection of wine & beer and friendly welcoming staff make this pub a treasured find in the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Entering The Willow Tree is a pure delight. From the designer wooden stag head on the wall and rococo mirrors to the eclectic mix of dining chairs and vintage leather sofas, the inside of the pub is simultaneously comfortable, quirky and stylish. Open fires, candles and Louis XIV style armchairs add to the elegant continental ambience.

Attentive and knowledgeable, the waiting staff are always warm and friendly. They provide a professional service to all customers whether you’re a familiar face or new to the establishment. The charming atmosphere is complemented by live music evenings of Jazz, Blues, Soul or Folk on certain Sundays in the month. Here is a list of artists due to perform at The Willow Tree this Spring/Summer:

April 24th – Rebecca Hynes (deep soul)
May 1st – Phil Marshall Quartet (jazz funk)
May 22nd – Ben Smith (funky blues)
June 5th – Polly Rose Band (vocal jazz)
June 26th – Tom Copson (alternative folk)
July 3rd – Tom Rickard Quartet (vibraphone jazz)
August 7th – Brant Tilds Band (latin jazz)

Highlights from the extensive Wine List include a decadent Taittinger champagne, a dry and light Sancerre from the family-run Domaine Tissier, an elegant Provençal Rosé from Château Léoube, and a fruity Gatekeeper Shiraz from Australia. These are the more expensive options but there is a wine to suit every pocket and most wines can be served by the glass. There is also a wide selection of beers, spirits and soft drinks.

The seasonal menu has a continental influence but includes pub classics interpreted with style and flare. Ingredients are sourced locally where possible such as vegetables grown at nearby South Farm. The daily specials board promotes the best seasonal produce available and delicious roast dinners are served on Sundays. Whether you’re a carnivore, fish lover or dedicated vegetarian, you’ll find something to delight your palate from The Willow Tree menu. Tapas and pizzas are available on the menu in addition to more hearty fare. Below is just a small selection of some recent dishes served by the talented chef and his team:

Mozzarella, chargrilled figs, radicchio & balsamic syrup
Carpaccio of beef with horseradish cream & wild rocket
Bruschetta of chicken liver pate & wild mushrooms

Ricotta & polenta torte, marjoram, mixed leaves, apple & fig chutney
Seabass with lyonnaise potatoes, caramelised leeks & saffron sauce
Bourn burger with cheese and hand cut chips
Fillet steak served with hand cut chips, grilled mushrooms & stilton sauce

Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream
Lemon meringue with vanilla honey & lemon jelly, & candied lemon zest
Movenpick ice cream or sorbet

So whether you’re looking for somewhere to have a relaxed lunch with friends, a romantic dinner with a loved one or you want to treat the family to a traditional Sunday roast, head for The Willow Tree in Bourn. You won’t be disappointed!

The Willow Tree
29 High Street, Bourn, Cambridge, CB23 2SQ
Tel: 01954 719775

Images reproduced from

Artificial Pancreas Tested at Cambridge University

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have demonstrated the usability of an artificial pancreas for patients with Type 1 diabetes. The apparatus allows the regulation of the patient’s blood sugar levels during night time and thus prevents hypoglycaemia, i.e. low blood sugar levels.

If blood sugar levels fall to low, patients can experience warning signs such as irritability, shakiness and heart pounding. At night, however, these signs often remain unnoticed, leading to permanent damage or even to fatality. Dr. Roman Havorka at the Institute for Metabolic Science of the university has been leading two studies on the applicability of the artificial pancreas. After the promising test results, he proposed that the device might be applicable for the usage at home, which will be included in the next test series.

The artificial organ itself includes two parts, an insulin pump and a glucose level monitor. It is the first time that both technologies have been successfully combined. Active research in the UK also encompasses the creation of a bioengineered pancreas including beta cells to create insulin. However, research in that area is still in its infancy as we reported previously.

The new technology tested at the university may help many people in the UK. Since the year 1996 the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased from around 1.4 million to 2.6 million. It is estimated that by 2025 over four million people will have diabetes in Britain. These alarming figures show that diabetes is one of the major health challenges over the next decades. Although most of these people are predicted to have Type 2 diabetes due to an aging population, a strong increase in Type 1 diabetes is also expected due to wrong dieting. New technology such as the one demonstrated here will potentially benefit millions of people.

Image: courtesy of the University of Cambridge

Easter at Hotel Chocolat

As Easter is almost upon us, it’s time to start thinking about chocolate and who better to meet the needs of chocoholics than Hotel Chocolat. They are the only British cocoa grower and origin chocolatier in the UK and have been passionate about real chocolate for the past 20 years. The company is all about originality, authenticity and ethics. It’s great to see a UK company do so well using innovative creative flare and maintaining a classic British style and wit in their approach to luxury chocolate.

Hotel Chocolat’s commitment to produce premium quality chocolates has allowed chocolate lovers from the UK, Europe and America to receive gorgeous chocolates via mail order. Hotel Chocolat retail stores can now be found up and down the UK and grow in number every year so that consumers on the high street can now get their hands on these high quality chocolates. I popped into their Cambridge shop on Petty Cury to see what treats Hotel Chocolat has in store for us this Easter. Here are my recommendations for the Easter Eggs you should consider buying for friends and loved ones:

The Original Extra Thick Easter Eggsâ„¢ – £24
Hotel Chocolat has been making these extraordinary Easter eggs for the past 18 years. It is refreshing to find an Easter egg which consists of a chocolate shell which is three times thicker than the average Easter egg – we have suffered for long enough in this country with the super thin chocolate shells made from sickly sweet inferior chocolate found on supermarket shelves. Hotel Chocolat do a range of shells made from milk, dark and white chocolate so you’ll definitely find something to please any chocolate lover. As with all their eggs, Hotel Chocolat has gone back to the Easter of our childhood and have hidden a tasty selection of Easter chocolates inside each egg. My favourite is the Serious Dark Fixâ„¢ Extra Thick Easter Egg – lovers of dark chocolate will enjoy this egg made from Hotel Chocolat’s award-winning 70% house dark chocolate with one shell studded with crunchy cocoa nibs. The chocolates inside include praline, rum truffle, chilli praline and single malt whisky truffle.

Easter Eggsposé™ Half Eggs – £14 or any 2 for £25
These are new to the Easter range from Hotel Chocolat. They consist of half an extra thick egg made from either premium milk, dark or white chocolate which is then filled with a tasty selection of Easter chocolates that are ready to burst out and tantalise the taste buds. The Easter Eggsposé™ Half Egg is an ideal Easter gift when a whole egg might be a little too much. My favourite for boys of all ages is The Nibblatron – five cute little chocolate robots nestled in an extra thick egg shell made of 40% mellow milk chocolate.

Easter Egg Sandwichesâ„¢ – £8 or any 3 for £21
These quirky handmade chocolate eggs are made with two slices of premium chocolate between beautifully decorated hollow shells. The unusual Egg Sandwiches are a fun gift to give someone and different from the norm so they would be received quite well I think. The quirkiness of these eggs are the perfect way to make someone smile this Easter. My favourite is the Strawberry Melt – two slices of meringue-studded strawberry and white chocolate sandwiched between creamy white shells.

Gigantic Ostrich Easter Eggsâ„¢ – £65
It’s an understatement to say that Hotel Chocolat’s exclusive Ostrich Eggs are large – these Easter eggs really are gigantic! Each one weighs a staggering 1.3kg! Available in milk chocolate or dark chocolate, they definitely would make a big impression on someone really special but I think they’ve been designed more for sharing so one would make the ideal gift for a family. My favourite is the Milk Ostrich Egg made from 40% milk chocolate which has been covered in cookie pieces, crispy rice and chocolate chunks. Inside is a gorgeous selection of chocolates including truffles, caramels, macadamia and pistachio pralines and lots more.

Whichever egg you go for, I hope you have a lovely Easter this bank holiday weekend with friends and loved ones. And don’t forget – chocolate is for life not just for Easter!

Hotel Chocolat
3 Petty Cury
Tel: 01223 308045

Images reproduced from:

A Cambridge-Oxford Motorway?

Have you ever tried to travel to Oxford from Cambridge? The journey is cumbersome, long and tiring. For a long time, people have wanted to build a motorway between the two old university towns. This would not only be beneficial to the two universities, but also relieve the North of London of a lot of traffic.

In fact, exchanges between the two of the oldest educational centres of England have been hindered for many years by the fact that travelling from one place to the other is just too difficult. Why travel to Oxford if you can travel to Paris in the same time? That seems ludicrous, considering how close Cambridge and Oxford actually are – they are a mere 80 miles apart and travelling from one place to the other takes over three hours. The issue has now been rekindled in parliament and is being openly discussed.

Such a plan may help create a British “Silicon Valley”, helping to establish a more knowledge-based economy. In fact, science and technology has always been Britain’s strength and this project would help create many jobs and improve the economic situation on a long run. Even public transport between the cities is not easy and the region would benefit from a direct rail line, which is an idea rooted even further in the future.

On the other hand, a motorway puts an immense strain on the local environment and threatens many habitats and will have a huge impact on nature. Would the beautiful landscape and the fens be at stake with such an ambitious project? What about all the people living in adjacent villages, do they really want a new motorway cutting through their neighbourhood?

Especially at times where economic prospects look slimmer we have to look ahead to the future and choose spending wisely and for the benefit of the economic development and the people who live in the area.

This project has massive pros and cons and if realised would impact many of us. What do you think? We would like to invite you as our readers to let us and your neighbours know your opinion.

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The Plough – Fen Ditton

The Plough Fen Ditton is a lovely traditional pub & restaurant situated in the riverside village of Fen Ditton – a short drive from central Cambridge. This friendly pub has a fantastic beer garden which runs down to the edge of the Cam and has one of the best riverside views in Cambridge. It is also the perfect spot to watch the May Bumps boat races with friends whilst enjoying a jug (or two) of Pimm’s.

The Plough Fen Ditton is famous for serving up a fine selection of cask ales and is accredited by Cask Marque – the independent assessors of cask ales in the UK. The Plough’s kitchen also serves up a tasty menu of freshly cooked food comprising of seasonal dishes as well as pub classics.

This idyllic local pub has a rich history stretching back hundreds of years. The Plough Fen Ditton is built on the site of an old paper mill which then became a coaching inn before starting life as the village pub of Fen Ditton. The Plough has always been at the heart of village life and the owners say they are “proud of the history, character and charm residing within its walls”.

Whatever your tipple of choice, The Plough Fen Ditton will have something nice to wet your whistle. The bar of The Plough serves a great choice of quality cask ales, cold continental lagers, wonderful wines and superb spirits. Beers include Abbots Ale, Staropramen and the renowned Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Pale Ale.

This spring, The Plough Fen Ditton have some interesting new additions to the drinks menu including an award winning English vodka from the Chase Distillery in Hertfordshire. The decent wine list has plenty of choice whether you’re looking for a crisp White or juicy Red. There’s also a good selection of Rosés and sparkling wines too. For those non-alcoholic moments, the friendly bar staff can fix you something from their range of refreshing soft drinks or pour you a cup of delicious freshly brewed coffee.

Food at The Plough Fen Ditton is always fresh and never pretentious. All dishes are prepared from the freshest and tastiest ingredients by the dedicated chef and his team. The results are honest pub grub and delicious seasonal dishes that keep pub-goers more than satisfied.

Spring is in the air and The Plough Fen Ditton has introduced a new seasonal menu which heralds a vibrant change of style from heavier winter fare. All the dishes are lovingly made by hand and do not include any nasty processed foods. Only fresh quality produce is used to create delicious dishes perfect for the warmer weather.

Below is a selection of my favourite dishes from The Plough’s new menu.


  • Cornish sardines on toast with a sweet pepper & fennel compote
  • Potted duck-liver parfait with fi g chutney and toasted brioche
  • Fresh lamb kidneys pan-fried with mushrooms in a wholegrain mustard cream sauce, served on toasted ciabatta


  • Baked cod in a white wine cream broth, with chorizo, clams and baby potatoes
  • Grilled seabass fillets on saffron potatoes & samphire with a white wine sauce
  • Medallions of venison on honey-roasted root vegetables & butternut squash, with a bacon, thyme & mushroom sauce
  • Beechwood smoked duck on a salad of mixed leaves, orange segments & dried apricots


  • Home-made burger with gherkin, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, onion & tomato relish served with chips
  • Beer-battered haddock with home-cut chunky chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce, spicy ketchup and Aspall’s malt vinegar
  • Pork & ale sausages on mashed potato with Savoy bubble and gravy


  • Belgian chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream
  • New York cheesecake with summer berries
  • Lemon meringue pie with berry coulis
  • Classic Eton Mess

So whether you fancy sipping a pint of quality ale in the riverside beer garden or want to tuck into delicious seasonal food in the restaurant, The Plough Fen Ditton is a great pub to while away a couple of hours and is highly recommended.

The Plough – Green End, Fen Ditton, Cambridge, CB5 8SX
Tel: 01223 293264

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Cambridge University iPhone App

Now it is official! Cambridge University has its own iPhone application. This is a great service that allows connecting the pressing news from the University of Cambridge to your iPhone, iPad touch and iPad. It is a free application available for everyone and will keep you updated with news from the University. Just log onto the iTunes store and download it today!

This tool is following the trends set by great American institutions such as Harvard and Stanford University. The app itself is divided into five major categories: news, events, media, maps and library. That makes the menu very user friendly and easy to manage. It helps keeping university staff, students and visitors informed about the daily happenings and Cambridge University organises many events that everyone can attend. With the fast growing user base of mobile technology, this app will soon be indispensable for people from Cambridge. It can even create a list of lectures, which will make student life more comfortable and inform the general public also about guest speakers!

Cambridge is once again showing its innovative and modern nature and its integration of leading technology into its infrastructure. The university is one of the biggest contributors to the local economy and is continuously looking for talented people to get involved.

So why not download one of the best local apps today and connect your mobile to a modern way of thinking?

Women’s Fashion Trends for Spring 2011

The catwalk collections for spring/summer 2011 were full of fabulous trends that have now hit the high street and every trendy girl about town will want to get her hands on the key trends this season. City Connect’s Fashion Guru, Alan Philippe, brings you the hottest Spring looks that are guaranteed to add some sunshine to your wardrobe on even the cloudiest of days. Check out his recommendations for what style-savvy ladies should be wearing this season.

This zesty shade of orange is the hottest colour this season as it was all over the spring/summer 2011 catwalks. If head-to-toe orange is too bold for you, tone it down with a contrasting colour like hot pink or turquoise. Or use tangerine as an accent colour on accessories such as shoes, bags or sunglasses. The ultra feminine orange dress below is from J by Jasper Conran and is exclusively available from Debenhams.

The delicate beauty of lace adds a feminine touch to clothing this season. Lace dresses are totally on-trend and look great in a range of bright summery colours. Lace details are also very fashionable and add tasteful elegance to your style. Barely there shades of cream and taupe are also a hot look to go for in lace.

A rainbow of zingy colours has flooded the high street and everywhere you look there are bright blues, citrus yellows and hot pinks. Tangerine is the hottest shade of neon brights as previously mentioned but you’ll be on-trend in any bright colour this season. Trousers in vibrant shades are very hot at the moment. The best way to carry off this look is by using block colour in your outfits.

Bold stripes are a key trend for Spring as seen in the Prada spring/summer 2011 collection. Horizontal stripes are the way to go in a variety of colours including the classic black & white. This can be an unflattering look if worn badly so choose your stripes wisely to avoid a fashion faux pas.

Almost every designer showed white in their spring/summer 2011 collections so whether you go for a cool, crisp blouse or a stylish tailored trouser suit, you’re sure to stay on-trend. Just be careful not to spill anything!

It wouldn’t be Spring without floral prints making an appearance. This season’s look takes on the Orient and the beautiful flowery designs reflect this chinoiserie influence right through from lingerie to blouses and dresses in light floaty fabrics.

There is a lot of animal print available but also look out for designs inspired by every corner of the globe. Tribal prints are bold and funky which makes a confident statement this season. These trendy patterns can be found in harem pants, batwing t-shirts and the season’s hottest fashion item – the jumpsuit.

The decade of glitzy glam and platform shoes is a defining trend and a must-have look to wear this Spring. Flares, palazzo pants, floppy hats, round-rimmed sunglasses and bold prints are all making a comeback. Don’t forget the big hair to top off this hot look.

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Charity Events Calendar – May 2011

If you would like to attend any of the events listed below, let us know via Contact Us and we’ll e-mail you back by the next working day with booking details.

A great, well-organised and friendly event that starts outside Belfast City Hall and finishes in Ormeau Park where there will be lots of fun and entertainment.

2nd May – TATA STEEL CARDIFF BAY 5 – Cardiff
Cardiff Bay has been beautifully renovated in the last few years so why not gather family and friends together and run, jog or walk the route and then spend the afternoon in the fabulous bay area. In aid of Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

7th-16th May - HIKE TO CHANGE LIVES – Peru
Join the hike up the Inca trail to the legendary Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. In aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

7th May – FRIGHT NIGHT – Ordsall Hall, Salford
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is challenging brave people to join Ghost Tours UK in spending the night at Ordsall Hall to raise funds for the charity. The doors to the historic building will be open to spook seekers who will have the opportunity to explore numerous rooms and take part in ‘ghost hunting’ experiments with a team of paranormal investigators.

7th May – Brighton Spring Ball – Hilton Brighton Metropole.
Hilton Brighton Metropole’s glamorous charity Ball returns, this year in aid of the Argus Appeal and Hilton in the Community Foundation. Featuring a champagne reception, three course meal and ballroom dancing, the night will be sure to entertain.

7th May - RED CROSS BRIDGE WALK – River Thames Path, London
A scenic walk along the River Thames crossing 13 bridges – meeting on south side of Battersea Bridge and finishing at Tower Bridge. In aid of British Red Cross.

7th May - THE CANDY BALL - Westminster Park Plaza Hotel
The Confectionery Industry’s party of the year takes up a space theme for 2011, promising to take the over 700 members from the confectionery, grocery and related trades out of this world!!  Dress: Black Tie. In aid of Sweet Charity.

Over 1,000 people are expected to take part. No previous experience is required. The spirit of the event is taking part, not winning, so you can run, jog or walk.  With a small registration fee of £20 and a suggested minimum sponsorship, you could become a hero for the day. In aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

8th May - SPONSORED WALK – Abbey Wood, Charlton Park and Eltham Park South
A great day out for the all the family. Mapped out, marshaled routes of various distances to suit all ages and abilities. In aid of Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.

11th May - THE 52nd  CFAB INTERNATIONAL SPRING FAIR – Kensington Town Hall, London
This distinctive and vibrant Spring Fair brings together over 100 diplomatic missions offering products that are unique to their country. Don’t miss your opportunity to get your hand-made crafts, jewellery, clothing and accessories as well as delicious international food from around the world. 3,000 guests anticipated. In aid of Children and Families Across Borders.

12th May - THE ROSE OPERA EXTRAVAGANZA – Drapers’ Hall, London
A fabulous evening starting with a champagne and canapé reception followed by a three-course dinner interspersed with Puccini arias performed by the world renowned London Festival Opera Company. Dress: Black Tie. In aid of Alexandra Rose Charities.

12th May – EPILEPSY SOCIETY CHARITY GOLF DAY -  Sandy Lodge Golf Club, Northwood
The 9th Golf Day will be hosted on a course that offers a challenge for the novice or enthusiast. Jeremy Dale, the UK’s most innovative trick shot artist, will amaze and entertain you. Late breakfast and dinner included. In aid of National Society for Epilepsy.

12th-15th – WINDSOR TATTOO – Windsor Castle Grounds
A musical and military spectacular honouring Britain’s Service personnel. The Royal British Legion is the official charity of this event. A wealth of military entertainments will be on hand, including displays, music and a spectacular finale featuring recently returned Service personnel. Purchasing a ticket also gives you access to the Royal Windsor Horse Show from 3pm on the same day.

13th May – ROYAL CALEDONIAN BALL – Grosvenor House, London
Since starting in the 1840’s and raising money for charity since 1849, The Royal Caledonian Ball is quite probably the oldest charity ball in the world. It combines helping to keep traditional Scottish dancing alive in the heart of London’s West End with raising money for Scottish charities – all through one night of reeling each year.

14th May – DAISY BALL - Grosvenor House, London
The evening features a three-course dinner, superb live band, star-studded cabaret, top TV and sporting personalities, a 1,000 item tombola,  raffle and auction prizes and table entertainers. In aid of Anthony Nolan.

14th May – TANDEM  SKYDIVE – Maidstone, Kent
Calling all thrill seekers! Join this once-in-a-lifetime event in aid of the British Red Cross.

15th May – YORKSHIRE 10k AND 2k FUN RUN -  Newby Hall, Ripon
A UKA registered times multi-terrain off-road run around the beautiful estate land of Newby Hall. Stalls, entertainment and refreshments will be on offer plus a 2 for 1 ticket to enter the 25 acres of award winning gardens, including a sculpture park, adventure playground and miniature railway.  In aid of Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

15th May – CHILDLINE’S GREAT BRITISH PICNIC - Inner Temple Gardens, London
Activities and games galore for all to enjoy on a very special family day out bringing countryside into the city. In aid of NSPCC.

17th-18th May – ROYALIST REGATTA – Portsmouth
Challenge yourself by taking part in the Royalist Regatta for an exhilarating team building experience. Amateur and professional sailors welcome for fun yet competitive yacht racing. Champagne reception and dinner onboard HMS Warrior. Dress: Black Tie. In aid of Sea Cadets.

17th May – TUNNEL OF LOVE – Victoria House Basement, London
The fashion and art funfair party to mend broken hearts. In aid of British Heart Foundation.

19th May - THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION BIRTHDAY PARTY – The Ironbridge Suite, International Centre, Telford
The Royal British Legion hits the big 90 in 2011 but still isn’t showing its age – so mark the date by celebrating with them at a special birthday party! The Legion has gone sassy and chic in roaring 1920’s style so help them relive those heady party days with a champagne reception followed by a dinner and dancing to the tunes of the Legion’s Central Dance Band.

25th May - MAD HATTERS’ MILLINERS SHOW - Hurlingham Club
This stylish fashion show is the highlight of the social calendar and will be held at the Hurlingham Club with a celebrity auctioneer. Price includes a champagne reception, and canapés. In aid of The Children’s Trust.

26th May -  SECRET GARDEN BALL - Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London
The evening will include a reception, a three-course dinner, an auction and entertainment. Dress: Black Tie. In aid of  Foundation For The Relief of Disabled Orphans.

29th May - 5k AND 10k COMMUNITY FUN RUN - London Maccabi Sports Grounds, Barnet
The funds raised for Norwood will help support thousands of children, families and adults coping with learning disabilities and social disadvantage in the Jewish community and beyond.

Image: renjith krishnan /

Magic of the Dance in Cambridge

Magic of the Dance are finally coming to Cambridge!

The spectacular Irish dance show is coming to the city on May 2 and will perform in the Corn Exchange. This is bound to be a highlight and a spectacle not to be missed. Magic of the Dance use a mixture of tap dance and modern dance that creates a unique entertainment experience.

The show is a mixture of a great light spectacle and highly energetic tap dances on the floor, tables and chairs. This is a show for every age and the viewer will be mesmerised by the sheer amount of skill and precision the dancers show. The group have given over 2000 shows and millions of people world-wide have been enchanted by their spectacular performances. Tickets are still available and are selling fast! This is certainly an event not to be missed this spring. Tickets are available at the Corn Exchange Box office or online.


Film Review: Life As We Know It

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about the film “Life As We Know It”. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website

This is a funny but thought-provoking take on the real responsibilities of godparents with a pinch or romance intertwined. Katherine Heigl plays the uptight, ambitious, best friend of the mother while Josh Duhamel plays the seemingly rugged, commitment-phobic ladies man and best friend of the father. As fate would have it the parents die in a car crash and the godparents played by Kate and Josh (who happen to despise each other) are left to pick up the pieces. Predictable but with observational moments that make you laugh. There is not quite the poignant moment of Jerry McGuire fame to evoke the same emotion of the ‘You complete me’ scene but there are definitely touching moments.

For me the way the actors dealt with the realisation that their best friends were no longer around and the enormity of the fact that they are now responsible for a life other than their own was well done. The difference in character types to such a situation acted well and a movie that can if you watch it with an open mind remind you to look for the good in everyone no matter how differently they react to situations, process information and/or deal with death of a loved one.

The release is scheduled for April 15 in the States and the film will come out in the U.K. shortly thereafter.

Movie courtesy of Hollywood Streams

Personally I am glad I waited for this movie to come to DVD rather than watch it in the cinema but I would recommend it for when the DVD player has forcefully ejected Bridget Jones on repeat for the 100th time and you still have a pot of Haagen Daaz in the freezer that needs to be consumed before the new week begins.

Scientists Discover Alzheimer’s Genes

Researchers at Cardiff University say they’ve found five new genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Through our ongoing research, we are finding genes that increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, allowing us to pinpoint what may be going wrong, biologically, in the brain,” said Julie Williams, who headed up the Cardiff study.

Alzheimer’s, a form of degenerative dementia, is a complex condition made up of various elements. Scientists believe it’s 80% genetic.

The new research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, brings the total of known genes associated with the condition to 10. The more of these genes someone has, the more likely they are to develop Alzheimer’s.

The five new genes affect three bodily processes — the immune system, the ways the brain processes cholesterol and lipids and the process of removing toxic amyloid-beta protein from the brain. The latter process, called endocytosis, is also affected by a number of other Alzheimer’s-related genes.

“We now have four genes that implicate this very precise process and it offers a very big clue that this process is playing a strong role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Williams.

If researchers can develop treatments that target these processes, it would significantly reduce people’s chances of developing the disease.

What’s more, if doctors could treat the effects of all 10 genes, the number of Alzheimer’s cases would be reduced by a massive 60%, according to the study.

“This study, plus our previous studies, means that we are beginning to piece together the pieces of the jigsaw and gain new understanding. We still have a long way to go – but the jigsaw is beginning to come together. If we were able to remove the detrimental effects of these genes through treatments, we hope we can help reduce the proportion of people developing Alzheimer’s in the long-term,” said Williams.

However, the researchers warn any treatments that result from this study are at least 15 years away.

City Connect encourages you to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and help fund research to find a cure by visiting the Alzheimer’s Society website.

Verdict – Cambridge Arts Theatre

The Agatha Christie Company proudly presents Verdict, one of the most riveting and compelling dramas by Agatha Christie, the undisputed ‘Queen of Crime.’ With an all-star cast, this gripping play will captivate the crowds of Cambridge when it performs at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from 11 April to 16 April 2011.

Following the huge success of The Hollow, The Unexpected Guest, And Then There Were None, Spider’s Web, and most recently Witness For The Prosecution, the Agatha Christie Theatre Company is coming to Cambridge to entertain and enthral theatre-goers at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, one of the region’s most exciting Arts venues.

The all-star cast is led by Dawn Steele, from the hit BBC drama Monarch of the Glen and the popular ITV series Wild at Heart. She is joined by Ali Bastian (The Bill, Strictly Come Dancing, Hollyoaks), Peter Byrne (Dixon of Dock Green), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film series), Elizabeth Power (Eastenders) and Sixties teen idol Mark Wynter.

Verdict tells the story of the brilliant and idealistic Professor Karl Hendryk who, having been forced to flee persecution in his home country, leads a content and morally upstanding life with his invalid wife. The prospect of a life-saving treatment for her persuades him to take on a new pupil against his better judgement.

Professor Hendryk’s world is then turned upside-down by this new pupil, Helen – a spoilt, scheming minx who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. After a terrible murder leads to a tense court case, the anticipation of the verdict about to be delivered has us on the edge of our seats as we hold our breaths as we wait and see if justice will be served.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Box Office on 01223 503 333 and are subject to a £2 booking fee.

Untold Story by Monica Ali

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about Princess Diana and the new book by Monica Ali. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website

What with the Royal Wedding coming up so soon, one could argue that this is either the perfect or most inappropriate time to release Untold Story. Monica Ali’s new novel is no doubt going to be a hot topic for debate even for those who are not the fashionistas of the world, because of the similarities between her lead character to one of Britain’s most treasured. Having said that, it would be remiss to just focus on the potential contraversy as the book itself is well written and a great escape.

The premise is loosely based on what could have happened, had we not tragically lost one of the nation’s most beloved Princesses. The book jacket queries – “What if Princess Diana hadn’t died?” and although we are reassured that Monica’s latest fiction is indeed just that just fiction and has no place nor making an attempt to be as an autobiography had Diana lived, the story begins with many a coincidental likeness to that of Princess Di.

Monica herself is an Oxford Graduate and has displayed her intellect on these pages. The clever plot adaptations and obvious research that has gone into her book is apparent. Whether the book itself will gain attention for its cleverly drafted script or more for the notoriety remains yet to be seen.

The books press release describes the work as follows – “Untold Story is a novel about family and friendship, intrigue and obsession, the meaning of identity, and the peculiar calamity of fame.”

Although I have read reviews from men stating that there was more than a dash of feminine past times as alien to them as mani-pedis, to me part of the charm of this novel is how the main protagonist survives without her children (after faking her own death) and the story that subsequently unfolds. Friendship and trust clearly play key issues in a world where entitlement, intrigue and demand have been exposed for their true nature.

This book is a good read and will keep you turning the page right until the end.

You can buy this book from Amazon UK or any other good book shop.

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race 2011

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about the 2011 Boat Race. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and visit

Oxford won the toss and choose Surrey station, the official safer option despite the last four Boat Races having been won on Middlesex. Once umpire Rob Clegg dropped his red flag, the 157th Boat Race was under way.

Cambridge had a stroke rate of 47 against Oxford at 46 although a minute later Oxford were still rating a good 39 with Cambridge just behind at 38. Oxford veered off course slightly when approaching Fulham football ground only to be warned twice by the umpire but they maintained the advantage, and made it to the Mile in 3 mins 49 secs, one second ahead of our Cambridge crew.

Oxford lead the way by one length at St Paul’s School boathouse but broke clear at the top of Chiswick Eyot, still rating 34. Cambridge attempted to raise the rate by a pip and their cox Liz Box steered a nice tight on the corner trying to claw back the deficit.

By Chiswick Steps, Oxford looking increasingly confident as they took the advantage. Cambridge gave a gallant final push as the final Middlesex bend was in their favour but Oxford held them off, crossing the finish line in 17 mins 32 secs to Cambridge’s 17 mins 44 seconds.

Heartfelt commiseration go to the valiant effort from our Cambridge team.

What a race! In my capacity as a sports performance psychology consultant, I have had the pleasure to work with rowers helping them develop mental fitness to better handle the competitive pressure enabling them to put every stroke of practice to good use when race day finally arrives.

Last Saturday, I was asked repeatedly “What happened?”. Sitting in a local Cambridge pub, watching the aghast faces as the Oxford crew not only took the lead but left Cambridge painfully rowing in their puddles, I found myself explaining the psychology detriments of being favourite to win.

It is no surprise to most of you that we (Cambridge) were almost gloating from the onset of the race that we would not only win, but win our 2nd year in a row. It was a them against us mentality. However, the true challenge in rowing is the competition between the crew and every stroke of the race course, the 9 team mates and the clock, and most importantly each individual and the little voice inside shouting about the pain, the distance, the effort.

Success in rowing is all about the crew’s mental ability not only to handle the pain and fatigue of oxygen debt, but their ability to master the limits that others impose upon them.

Both teams undoubtedly trained to the best of their abilities physically and kudos to both of them, that course is a tough one. Once Oxford had such a lead, the Cambridge crew’s bodies and minds must have been screaming for mercy. It is in that moment that you either stay with the discomfort or you push beyond any limits imaginable, up the power, lengthen those strokes and bring the boat home.

The best way to win is to get comfortable being uncomfortable – this is true in life as much as it is in sport.

Winners build their success on their failures, so no doubt next year Oxford better watch out as Cambridge will be training harder and smarter this year to regain their title.

ISTP – The Craftsman

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about ISTP personality type. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and visit

I have been asked to elaborate on each personality type with a few characteristics and examples for each. I will be expanding on each type shortly but in the mean time I have compiled a list of examples for you to wet your appetite for the fun ways in which typology can be used and understood.

In my observation, famous ‘s include many interesting people some of which I have mentioned below.

In no particular order ten real life ‘s are…

1. Rowan Atkinson 
2. Ashley Judd
3. Trevor MacDonald
4. Meg Ryan
5. Ian Hislop
6. Val Kilmer
7. Mel Gibson
8. David Cameron
9. Robin Cook
10. Chris Moyles

I have also included a few fictional characters

1. Wolverine – X-Men
2. Ron Weasley – Harry Potter
3. Hans Solo – Star Wars
4. Sherlock Holmes
5. Alex Karev – Grey’s Anatomy

ESFP – The Entertainer

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about ESFP personality types. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website

I have been asked to elaborate on each personality type with a few characteristics and examples for each. I will be expanding on each type shortly but in the mean time I have compiled a list of examples for you to wet your appetite for the fun ways in which typology can be used and understood.

In my observation, famous ESFP’s include many interesting people some of which I have mentioned below. 

In no particular order ten real life  ESFP’s are…

1. Anthony Robbins 
2. Jamie Oliver   
3. Al Pacino 
4. Paul McCartney  
5. Jake Gyllenhaal 
6. Dean Caine
7. Kevin Spacey
8. Gene Hackman 
9. Cher
10. Picasso

I have also included a few fictional characters 

1. Peter Griffin – Family Guy 
2. Homer Simpson   
3. Turk – Scrubs 
4. Kallie Torres – Grey’s Anatomy