The free magazine with soul.

This month's newsletter includes:

  • Community

  • TV Recommendations & The Reading Room

  • Meet Our New Members

  • News, Features & Articles

  • Food & Drink

  • Style & Make-up Tips

  • Home & Garden

  • Events with Bimla's Buzz

  • NEW... KIDS' PAGE... and lots more!


Thank you for taking the time to open this magazine and have a look. There's an eclectic mix of articles for you, coming from the heart of Cheltenham Spa. It's just our third month in print and your feedback is welcome. We're inclusive, diverse and positive, and hope there's something for everyone in this friendly, laid back mini magazine.

When we deliver through letterboxes, we do so with freshly sanitised, clean hands. As a small team we're building on the areas we can deliver to and may not cover the same ones each month unless requested. Don't miss out - if you've had one through your letterbox before and would like to ensure you receive future issues, message us with your postal address and we'll make sure you get one each month one way or another.

Wishing you a lovely October!

Sal, Debs & Cheranne x


Gloucestershire Young Carers

This month's charity is Gloucestershire Young Carers - a dynamic charity constantly growing and developing to meet the ever-changing needs of young carers in the county. We will be sharing an article from them in a future issue.

01452 733060 / 07857 618521 sally@glosyoungcarers.org.uk


Pets' Corner

A good friend, Karen, set up a mini farm at the school where she works and thought she'd had the rabbits successfully spayed, but... HELLO BABY BUNNIES! Seems like you were determined to get here.

Amy @charltonisland on Instagram said: 'Love will find a way!'

@luansara_ said: 'Aww oops!'


Mark's Bee

Forget Readers' Wives, we have Readers' Lives for you! We'd love to see your pictures and the theme is Nature. We could have called it Readers' Hives but thought that could be a bit too niche. This image is by Mark Wijesinghe who loves to capture a bee on a gathering mission.

Jordan's Swan

This glorious swan photograph is taken by Jordan Lawrence @jdrphotography_ whose duck image is featured on this month's front cover. Cover Birds, Readers' Hives - any ideas what our alternative to Page 3 can be? If you have a lovely nature photograph to submit, please email it to us at cheltmembers@gmail.com.

Neighbourhood Watch Tips

There have been numerous cases of thefts from cars in the Cheltenham area recently. Here are some useful tips to help prevent the temptation to thieves:

  • Always lock your vehicle when you leave it and take that extra second to make sure that it is actually secured.

  • Do not leave valuable property in unattended vehicles such as wallets and purses containing bank cards which can now be used with no further security checks up to £45 per time.

  • Don't leave smart phones, tablets/lap top computers and passports in unattended vehicles - they contain an amazing amount of personal data which would allow identity theft to take place.


Our Lockdown Experience

by Kathryn Wisby, Munchies of Cheltenham

On Monday 23 March we opened Munchies for business as usual. The previous week was post race week but business was not usual. There was a steady decline in our usual lunchtime trade as office workers were following the trend to 'work from home'. As the week went on we saw businesses close around us, the tension was palpable and the headline news was becoming more and more frightening. At lunchtime on Monday 23 March, I repeat the date as it was a day I could never possibly have imagined, Montpellier was becoming a ghost town with an underlying feeling of trepidation everywhere, the sun was shining but it felt cold and everyone was going home.

We took the decision to close down Munchies after 26 years without any planning or preparation and not knowing if we would ever reopen again... the emotion was overwhelming and the feeling debilitating. It was surreal.

With a huge sense of urgency we sprang into action not knowing what to do first or next. We had been in touch with a paramedic through the local COVID-19 Facebook page; she was isolating from her family and sleeping on a friend’s sofa whilst working 12 hour shifts, then going to the supermarket at the end of a shift to find the shelves stripped clear of essential items. The NHS was stretched to the limit and the fear was setting in. She came down in the ambulance to collect all our crisps and snacks and took them back for her colleagues; it seemed such a trivial offering and we wanted to do more. We locked the door and went home.

Over the next few days we walked and walked for an hour each day around our beautiful town in the sunshine, whilst the reality and enormity of the crisis sunk in. Our anxiety grew on those early sunny days of lockdown - would we get ill, would our business reopen and how would we survive without it? Once we got our heads together we realised that maybe we could help a little bit; we had food in the freezers which would be wasted so we made baguettes and took them to the paramedic station. It gave us something to do and helped our anxiety levels, it kept our minds distracted from the strange unsettling situation, for a few hours anyway.

On Monday 1 June we reopened after 10 weeks of being closed and not knowing what to expect. Our usual trade was gone. It was very slow to start with and Montpellier was quiet; the shops, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants were still closed and many people were still working from home. We were cautiously optimistic, in reality that was hopeful more than anything else. Gradually things have picked up and we’re starting to see more of our regular familiar faces returning to the area. Montpellier is starting to get back to normal, well the new normal anyway.

Munchies, 6a Queens Circus, Cheltenham GL50 1RX
Telephone number for takeaway orders: 01242 221 652



Image via The Arts Desk

The Fall

Amazon Prime

I am so happy that I didn’t start watching the first series of this back in 2013. When a storyline is this intense, binge watching is the only way to fly… waiting a whole year for what would happen next? How? How?

Luckily this is now available to consume at your heart's content. It is dark, some parts are hard to watch, but this brilliantly paced, psychological series set in Belfast, is ridiculously good. Gillian Anderson gives what I can only describe as a masterclass in TV/film acting; her stillness is extraordinary and Jamie Dornan is terrific. We know from the get-go who the bad man is, but this takes nothing away from the suspense. Do give it a whirl - I think you’ll love it!

PS If you watched Hollyoaks a few years ago, there are some familiar faces… and they’re very good in this!

When Bob Marley Came to Britain

BBC iPlayer - available for 11 months

I have never met anyone who didn’t love Bob Marley. Whether that’s my age or the fact that his music speaks so loudly for the equality we crave, or whether it’s just the people I mix with, but this documentary is SO nostalgic and I can’t recommend it highly enough. During the discontent (rather than disco tent) of the 70s a young Jamaican came to Britain in the hopes of making the big time here, having had limited success in his native Jamaica.

This charming documentary follows this journey, resulting in giving the Black youth here a voice, and a sense of pride in their culture. With lovely appearances from Don Letts, Brinsley Forde MBE from Aswad (who loves Cheltenham by the way) and the amazing Marcia Griffiths for The I-Threes - Marley’s backing singers. They talk of how he gave Black Pride a soundtrack. As Marcia recalls "He just blew the roof off with positive vibration & positive reggae music".


Where The Crawdads Sing

Sensitive and intelligent, Kya has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens. Through Kya’s story, Delia Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

'Lush, romantic, filled to the brim with nature and totally engaging. Loved it.' Libbi Seymour, Studio Cush

'I can’t get over how perfect this book is. The writing and the story rich with poetic prose, lyrical depictions of the marshlands and atmosphere, the marsh is like a character on its own and you can feel the atmosphere, see every plant, bird and insect, along with the character Kya. Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful and compelling read steeped in nature. A fusion of murder, mystery, coming-of-age and love; a poignant and powerful tale that will stay with its readers long after its gripping finale.' Aurore Anne, Diary of a Black City Girl

'It's not often that a book has you weeping in the first few pages, but so exquisite is Delia Owens' writing that Crawdads not only does this, but stays with you long after you've finished the last page. Simply, a phenomenal book.' Claire Yates, claireyogagogo@gmail.com

Image from Spotify

Podcast of the Month

October is Black History Month, which on its official UK website encourages us to 'dig deeper, look closer, think bigger'...

'The Black History Month Team is extremely pleased to present Black History Month 2020. It’s always a labour of love for us and although it does have many challenges, it’s ultimately about producing a quality publication and website that people enjoy reading and value as part of the month-long celebrations across the UK.' Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE, www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk

In keeping with this, our chosen podcast for this month is About Race with Reni Eddo Lodge, the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. The podcast takes the conversation a step further. Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race looks at the history that led to the politics of today. www.aboutracepodcast.com

Another listening recommendation to squeeze in - Clare from Tidal Training Direct told us: 'BBC4 every evening 7-7.30pm is Mindfulness half hour, so lovely!'


Marcus Raymond

Danny & Rachel McCauley

Elinor Salter

Sarah & Amanda

Tag Trojans

Tag Trojans has helped 1000s of children over the last 20 years to acquire a healthy, positive attitude towards sport and develop valuable skills along the way. They provide exciting and safe multi-sport sessions for children from reception to year three. Your children’s safety is the priority and each session is thoroughly planned and delivered by excellent coaching staff. Founder Marcus Raymond is running fun and Covid-19 safe tag rugby sessions for boys and girls aged 3-9 at the Old Pats, Cheltenham. First session is free. If you have children in this age group or know someone who you think would like to try, they can sign up here: tagtrojansuk.com/registrations

Covid-19 Update

We are still permitted to continue running our club with the current guidance. We are an outdoor sports club with measures in place to limit the spread of coronavirus. However, we do kindly ask that:

  • Parents adhere to social distancing with other parents and don’t socialise in groups of more than 6

  • When possible, only one parent/guardian to bring their children to our sessions

  • All children are to sanitise their hands before the session starts

We'll be closely monitoring any updates to government guidance and inform you of any changes we have to make. #WeAreTrojans

For more information please visit the website tagtrojansuk.com.

McCauley Construction

McCauley Construction is a reliable and solid choice for medium to large building projects in Gloucestershire. An established, family run business covering all aspects of building and renovation work, with a team of experienced tradesmen. McCauley Construction has gained a reputation in the area for being the expert building company.

  • Extensions

  • Loft Conversions

  • Renovations and refurbishments

  • Basements

  • Kitchens and bathrooms

  • New builds

To discuss any project ideas you may have, call Danny on 07780857773 or Rachel on: 07866 529508. www.mccauleybuild.com

'Professional, personable and punctual, just what you want from a building company. Danny and his team treated every aspect of the job with high levels of detail, whilst Rachel’s enthusiasm for the interior design and finishing touches was evident throughout the project. Thank you McCauley Construction, great job!' Simon and Kate, Leckhampton

Your Style Renaissance

Elinor Salter is a lovely and approachable midlife style coach, recommended to us by Liana Pert of Liana's Beauty Company and they sometimes do collaborative projects, such as videos on makeup for older women.

'In Italy I found myself and with that my style confidence. As a Style Coach I can help you find your authentic self so you can find the confidence to life the life you love. Midlife style with Italian flavour.

One of the biggest mindset blocks that women my age struggle with is dressing for their age without looking frumpy.

This is how I would overcome this concern - by looking at the mature Italian women and how they managed to dress with glamour and sophistication whilst not taking themselves too seriously. They would wear something quirky; they'd wear a white shirt and flat shoes but then they'd have an animal print skirt, adding a touch of creativity and fun in a way that looked effortless.' www.yourstylerenaissance.com

Thea's Room

Introduced to us by Birgitte from Raum & Wide, Sarah and Amanda are a mother and daughter team from Cheltenham. They lovingly hand make and block print lampshades to suit your decor, along with matching cushions and homeware such as tea towels and aprons.

Use code CHELT10 at checkout for your special discount!




Image via Planet Radio

We've Been Doing It Since Bet Lynch

by Sarah Cross of @myvosuk

I suspect it’s 50/50 whether this title tickled a chord, or you simply have no idea what on earth I’m talking about. It does give mine and Sal's ages away, but for the love of Bet, how she has influenced many wardrobes, and for the sake of this article, we don’t mind!

A bygone fictional character from a soap opera that all children from a generation ago will never forget, as we had to stay sshhhh while Mum watched her fave TV show; Bet Lynch was a brassy, audacious pub landlady who, just like many style icons, was instantly identifiable by her look! I mention this with an air of jest because 'style' isn’t exactly the first word that jumps to mind when we think of our Bet, but she will never be forgotten for her lovable character, peroxide beehive, OTT earrings and LEOPARD print attire. Bet was a legend and even has her own wax likeness at Madame Tussauds Blackpool.

Yes, leopard print is what I’m talking about. Why? Because it never, ever goes out of the style arena. A faux fur leopard print coat is the No 1, most classic, single item. Just think about it - even if it’s not your cup of tea and you are a plain-beige-cashmere sort of gal, you know someone who swears by their leopard print, or who will never part with their comforting faux fur. I’m not in any way saying you have to wear leopard print, but I am going to use leopard print, the leopard print coat in particular to explain the benefits, both sustainably and stylishly, of owning classic, versatile pieces – aka heirloom fashion.

Heirloom fashion is a single piece that continually re-invents itself from season to season, year to year, decade to decade and style to style. The biker jacket is another one, but let’s stay with the leopard faux fur coat for now, which has been in circulation for enough decades that the coolest ones are now being handed down from our grannies, sourced from pre-loved stores and even the inspiration behind brand new designer versions.

Whether your wardrobe oozes chic, romantic, urban, office, country, understated or even non-specific; or you are petite, tall or voluptuous; fitted or let it flow, there is a leopard print coat that has your name on it - if you want it. Even the most classic Italiano vision of perfection will have a whiff of D&G leopard print on the underside of a lapel.

The difficulty

Being such an iconic piece, it can appear to be EVERYWHERE and lure you into a false sense of feeling it is old hat. But don’t let those thoughts put you off. Jeans are everywhere, cashmere knits are everywhere.

The key

Choose yours just for you. If you own one, it should be the right one for you (and if you need help to fall back in love with it, I’m here). It doesn’t have to be full leopard print, it can just be a collar or cuff. It doesn’t have to be outsized or slouch, it can be shaped or belted, and it doesn’t have to be fluffy fur either, it can be pony-skin* or suedette. You can already get the sense of how versatile this piece is.

Where to get one

Think classic item - even if your actual style isn’t classic, the beauty of this piece is that it can be styled endlessly. Remind yourself this item has been in circulation for decades so check your wardrobe first, then ask your friends, family and colleagues - many a successful clothes swap has happened like this. See the sustainability element in play already? Pre-loved stores, online auctions, charity shops and vintage fairs next - but remain focused on your perfect leopard coat – if your mind and eyes stray, you’ll surely miss it.

If you are buying new, don’t just plump for the first one you see. Compare and contrast, and buy from an ethically sourced, quality brand because this piece is an investment, an heirloom item, that you will one day be passing down to your daughters, nieces and their daughters too. Need I say more. The classic leopard coat is sustainable, stylish, we’ve been doing it since Bet Lynch, and many more were sporting this.

I would love to see your leopard print coat, and how you style it your way. Hey, we could even start a reader’s gallery to feature in the Nov or Dec magazine!

Love Sarah x

Sustainable style columnist Sarah Cross is known for her fabulous sassy taste and enthusiasm for wardrobes and wellbeing. She is a Wardrobe Editor & Stylist at MYVOS which is short for My Very Own Stylist.


*Pony skin faux fur fabric - the proper trade name is Velboa or Velboa Skin, made of 100% polyester, a very fine short nap faux fur.

Midlife Needn't Be A Crisis

Midlife style columnist Elinor Salter is based in Cirencester.

One of the things I hear over and over again from women of a 'certain age' is that they have lost their style mojo and don’t know how to get it back. I can completely relate to this, as I did too. I got so caught up in being a mum, being a partner, working full time, being in the middle of looking out for older parents and looking after my own family, that I completely lost sight of who I am, who I always envisaged I would be and this is a common theme amongst my friends, clients and people I talk to generally. Then suddenly, you reach midlife and you feel lost, confused, invisible. This leads to a lack of self-confidence, a lack of self-respect, negative body issues and the spiral goes down and down. Add to this society’s views on older women – 'over our prime', 'not sexy', 'not employable', 'want a younger model' – and it is no wonder that we end up hiding within ourselves, feeling resentful and angry. After all, we have SO much to give, so much knowledge, expertise, wisdom. We know deep down what we like, what suits us, who we are, we just need the confidence to let this shine out and thumb our nose at the world and say “Hey! Remember me? I am still that sassy, sexy, fun loving twenty something that everyone has forgotten”.

The way you dress has such a profound effect on how you show up in the world, but it is much more than just putting on something smart. It goes much deeper than clothes, makeup and hair. This is why the styling programmes on TV, for instance, don’t work. You can change someone’s hair and makeup and put them in clothes that fit their body shape, but if it doesn’t resonate with who they are inside, they will feel like an imposter, won’t feel comfortable and will soon go back to wearing the clothes they have always worn. It is important to re-construct your self-image by developing self-esteem and cherishing your unique style.

Imagine walking down the street in Cheltenham and seeing yourself walking toward you, looking how you really want to look. What do you look like? What silhouette are you wearing? How are you carrying yourself? This is the start of your true style personality. Keep that image in your mind and maybe look on Pinterest for similar images. Start to build your look-book of pictures of how you would really love to dress.

This is where it all starts. From here we will go on to body shapes and the smoke and mirrors of dressing for your shape, but your style personality and your outer image being the reflection of your inner self - that is the magic that leads to self-confidence, that then leads to the positive impact on the rest of your life.

I would love to hear your stories, comments and any ideas of what you would like me to talk about.

Elinor x


5 Tips for Long Lasting Makeup

We all know that feeling - you wake up, do your makeup, get the children off to school, do a day at work and by the time 5 o'clock runs round you look more like Alice Cooper than Giselle.

Here are 5 tips that I’ve learnt as a professional makeup artist to ensure that you’re still looking fresh faced come 5 o'clock.

1. If you’ve got oily skin a good primer will give your foundation something to hold on to. I recommend Hourglass Mineral Veil for a good hold and BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Primer for a strong hold. A little goes a long way with both. If you suffer from redness then a purple primer will help neutralise these tones under foundation (BECCA First Light Priming Filter).

2. The fuller the foundation coverage, the longer the foundation will last. Something soft like a BB cream won’t hold. If you’re unsure about full coverage just use a minimal amount. BECCA Ultimate Coverage is sweat resistant, transfer resistant and water resistant. It’s my 'must have' for brides, it doesn’t budge!

3. The most important thing is how you apply your makeup. Always with a brush (not fingers). Real Techniques does fantastic brushes, available in Boots and Superdrug. If you’re confident, then a beauty blender (sponge) damped with setting spray and gently pressed into the skin to blend your foundation will ensure it lasts even longer.

4. Use a translucent setting powder to hold your foundation and concealer in place. My favourite is Laura Mercier Mineral Veil.

5. Finally a mist of setting spray will keep your makeup feeling fresh but also set. A few I’ve tried have sucked the moisture out of my skin but I swear by NYX Radiant Finish Setting Spray which leaves my skin glowing.

And there you have it! Beautiful, long lasting foundation.

Jessica Rose is one of the UK’s leading cruelty free makeup artists specialising in Bridal Makeup and bespoke makeup lessons. jessicarosemakeupartist.co.uk

'By the time 5 o'clock runs round you look more like Alice Cooper than Giselle.'

Image by Cleveland.com


Image by Nijwam Swargiary

Image by Keenan Constance

Image by Siora Photography

Image by Ilias Chebbi

How to get your mind off the NEWS

by Janie Whittemore of The Healing Company

Are you addicted to the news? Do you feel if you miss it, you’ve missed out? As we all know, the news is rarely positive.

Do you realise what happens in our brains when we have a diet of continual bad news? We become conditioned to negative thinking and it can have a very real effect on our mental health. Constant stress and worry, high blood pressure, anxiety, our bodies on high alert and ready to take immediate action to save ourselves from imminent danger – when the furthest we are going is to get another cup of tea from the kitchen. All those chemicals and hormones can create havoc long term.

Firstly, turn off news alerts. Why let your phone interrupt your day with bursts of bad news – or any news? If anything really bad happens, you'll hear about it. If there's anything that you really need to know, you'll find out. What good does it do you to have your precious day interrupted with the latest opinion of the pundits?

If you do hear some news and it worries you, the first thing to do is ask yourself, what can I actually do about it? If nothing, then worrying will not help. You will only give yourself more problems. It is quite difficult to think about your own well being when you're focused on the news ‘out there’ and your own health may even suffer from it. Your news intake need not be more than once a day. Make sure it is from a respected factual news source – not always easy. Some websites specialise in conspiracy theories and frightening or unsubstantiated claims to gain views. If you are prone to worrying, you will obviously want to avoid these. Always research things before reposting having only read the first upsetting headline and potentially perpetuating incorrect information. It is a minefield out there and fact-checking is key.

Instead, be gentle with yourself at the moment. There is much fear about, which is not helping us. Try creating a list of self-care ideas. Start small, take baby steps on that list, maybe do just one kind thing for yourself each day. Show yourself compassion. This will balance your anxiety and worry about the world in general. Don’t worry that you are being selfish – when you are looking after you; those around you will also reap the benefit. Then do one kind thing for someone else – it actually changes your brain chemistry to get that feel-good factor. Studies have shown that altruism is physically and mentally good for you.

On your list of things to do there should be at least one activity that is outside. Receiving daylight, fresh air and exercise are time-honoured ways of lifting low mood. Try mindful walking - where you observe everything that you see carefully, slowly and in isolation. This is a form of meditation and switches off habitual negative thinking. Doing anything in such a focused way helps to keep the mind off unwanted thoughts.

If you are a real worrier, some people think it's a good idea to give yourself some dedicated ‘worry time’. It can help; your worries know they’ll get a dedicated time slot all of their own. This means you feel better for just allowing the thoughts - then it is easier to stop them naturally. Perhaps set aside 15 minutes. It is probably best if that is not first thing in the morning - try doing some meditation or mindfulness instead first thing to begin your day.

We tend to find ourselves worrying more at the end of the day, especially if we wake up during the night. Those wide-awake times at 3:00am are so common among us at present. A really good tip is to keep a notepad by the bed and write things down that you are worrying about, maybe in simple point form, before you go to sleep if you can, or when you wake up if not. Write just enough for you to know what it refers to. Once it's written down on a piece of paper, your brain knows that the information doesn't have to be remembered and will let go of it.

To be more proactive in the war against negativity, you could always try consciously choosing to imbibe good news. Here are some places where you can find some:

www.positive.news - long-running print magazine published four times a year and daily online

Good News Network - www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

Huffington Post has a Good News section - www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/news/good-news/

The Optimist Daily, which itself has an article on how to be a wise news consumer - www.optimistdaily.com/2020/09/how-to-be-a-wise-news-consumer-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

The Happy News, British illustrator Emily Coxhead created this charming printed newspaper - https://thehappynewspaper.com/

Squirrel News – a free app with only good international news.

Do you know the Serenity Prayer? I was reminded of it by a student earlier this week during Reiki class. You can choose to include God or not, but I think this intention is useful when we feel overwhelmed and out of control.

'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.'

PS If you suffer with anxiety, worry or traumatic memories Janie can help with her fast-acting Havening therapy and other healing tools.

Would you like a free MP3 of her morning grounding meditation?
Find it here: eepurl.com/gFU2UP

You can contact Janie at www.thehealingcompany.com or on 07807 914817.

Magdalena's Exercise Tips


As days are getting shorter and the nights longer and colder our motivation to exercise can decrease. If you have already developed a routine that you like, you can keep it going in the autumn by making some small changes. Exercising earlier in the day is one way of battling your change-of-season fatigue. Getting into an early workout routine will guarantee you stay on top of your health regimen and free you up for more downtime in the afternoons to relax and unwind.


My tip for colder days is to prepare your workout gear the night before and put it in the bathroom or wherever you are getting dressed in the morning. Once you get up simply get changed and leave for your workout. No questions asked. No time for doubtful thoughts!

Magdalena Vonk is a personal trainer in Cheltenham.

Contact details:

You need three hobbies:
one to keep you creative; one to keep you in shape; one to make you money.


What is Dysbiosis?

by Ami Sheward, a Nutritional Therapist based in Cheltenham

When I first started learning about dysbiosis, I thought it was a made up word, I’d never even heard it before let alone have a clue what it was or meant. I remember when I had to see a Nutritional Therapist in my first year she explained how it worked with the rain forest analogy and I was totally hooked.

So, here goes: in the rainforest there is a huge variety of species, some ‘good’ and some ‘bad’, but together they maintain a healthy balance which is needed for the rainforest to survive. This is similar in our gut bacteria, with beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria which is needs to be balanced to promote good health. The gut bacteria develops from birth and helps us digest our food and get the nutrients from it, provide energy, improve digestion and produce vitamins. It is also an integral part of our immune health, elimination of toxins from the body and even has an impact on our mental health.

Our gut bacteria is influenced by a large number of factors. The balance may be negatively impacted by diet (particularly sugar and refined carbs), alcohol, antibiotics, contraceptive pill, stress, antacids, pollution and chemicals. When there is an imbalance of non-beneficial bacteria and beneficial bacteria, this is known as dysbiosis. Symptoms of dysbiosis can be constipation, loose stools, bloating, excessive wind, weight gain, fatigue, food allergies, indigestion, skin conditions - the list goes on - and when dysbiosis occurs it can negatively effect our immune system, nutrient intake and energy.

If you’re suffering with similar symptoms and would like a free 15 minute chat, then please get in touch by emailing ami@amishewardnutrition.com. You are welcome to join my Facebook group as well.


Money: You & Your Partner

by our money expert Fanny Snaith

One of the questions that I get asked all the time is...

'Why is it that when my partner and I love each other so much, we so often argue about money? It's a real source of conflict.'

Divorce enquiries have gone up by 25% since the beginning of COVID, so it's a really valid question to ask. We're all really different when it comes to money. We all have our own money stories, which start even before we were born, yep, our money story starts when we are in the womb and they continue to evolve up until adulthood.

The early years of our money stories are the most important. They are filled with experiences, observations, and messages that we received about money from the people around us. Those experiences and observations were all soaked up by our young brains, which are just like sponges when we are little. We put them all together in our own individual ways and form the beliefs and emotions that we will hang onto for years to come. As each event happens to us that jogs that emotion awake, our pain and hurt grows and eventually becomes a repeating pattern that we try to protect ourselves from by pushing it away. These beliefs and emotions will determine how our relationships with people and money play out for as long as we allow them to.

So, you have your money story and your partner has their money story. They are going to be different. You may have noticed that each of you gets triggered in certain situations - both of you probably think it’s really annoying. But have you ever asked yourselves WHY you each get triggered?

Learning about each other’s money story will help you change your relationship with your partner where money is concerned. You are both living a third money story now – it began the day you got together. But what about the first two volumes? Surely you need to know how the stories started?

How about you book an evening together? Maybe a glass of wine, light a candle, and decide to have a conversation about money? But not about facts, figures and bills. Nope - Just to talk about stories.

Ask questions like:

How did your mum and dad handle money?

Was there a feeling of scarcity or abundance for you as a child?

Was there conflict in your household about money, with arguments?

What words and phrases did you hear around money?

Did you hear things like….

'Money doesn't grow on trees.' 'We can't afford it.' 'You're rubbish with money.' 'You spend too much.'

What did you actually hear?

My advice is to take some time to understand each other more on your money stories and your money history. I can assure you that learning more about each other and yourselves where money is concerned will help you to have a successful third money story.

It would be so brilliant for it to have a wonderful future and a happy ending - don’t you agree?

If you would like me to send you the free Couples and Money Ebook please visit bit.ly/Couplesandmoney. fannysnaith.com


With Cynneth Bonanos

We LOVE to see our directory members working together, collaborating, buying each other's products or using each other's services. This is Cynneth Bonanos' interview with Clive and Wendy from Marinades.

Restaurants are some of the businesses that have been really affected by the recent lockdown. As a small business, how did you react to the sudden change to your operation and did you employ any particular marketing strategy to help you get through the last 3 months?

We were basically left hanging at very short notice by the Government on 16 March when, completely unexpectedly, we heard Boris Johnson advising people to avoid bars, theatres, cinemas and restaurants - all this after allowing 250k of visitors into Cheltenham the previous week for race week!


Should an elephant's trunk be up or down?

Lucky Elephant

When this elephant joined our family as a new addition to the garden I remembered hearing something about the trunk position and couldn't remember whether it's supposed to be up or down. A friend called The Soul Sister on Instagram @sara_louise_lee told me 'a trunk up is to bring fortune and money into your home. You should have it facing the door'.

An article by The Catherine Edelman Gallery says: 'Elephants have many symbolic meanings including protection, strength and good luck. A trunk is essential to the elephant. It is used for drinking, eating food, greeting friends and warding off enemies. So, which way does a lucky elephant hold its trunk?'

Upward Pointing

An upward pointed elephant trunk is believed to dispense energy, luck, prosperity and kindness. It is a movement elephants use to greet friends and express sheer delight.

To bring compassion and to shower good fortune place the upward trunk elephant around you.

This gorgeous print with an upward pointing trunk comes from Raum & Wide, a collection of Scandinavian art produced with quality materials from local artists. The business is based in Cheltenham. www.raumandwide.co.uk

Use this complicated code UCMZV27 for your 10% discount :)

Downward Pointing

An elephant with the trunk pointed downwards stores luck and energy. It is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge allowing you to easily overcome various tasks and obstacles.

To stay grounded at work or to reserve strength and vitality at home, the downward trunk elephant might be for you!

This lovely elephant hand printed accessories case is available from Thea's Room, our newest member on the directory who we've introduced to you this month. www.theasroomhome.com

There is a special 10% discount for our readers when you use coupon code CHELT10.

Very Superstitious

by Debs Willis

As Stevie Wonder once described me (not actually a true fact), I am. Deeply superstitious. Just last week I got dressed in a hurry and ended up wearing my Bridget Jones pants back to front for the entire day as I feared correcting my error would bring the sky down luck wise. This was both a ridiculous and uncomfortable decision but this is the way I roll. There is not a magpie in Gloucestershire that I have not saluted with a cheery ‘Good day, My Lord - how’s the wife?’, a habit I have passed on to my now grown children much to the amusement of their friends. I don’t care what Joan Armatrading says - I will not walk under ladders.

A brief foray into the theatre world had me spinning round three times and spitting if anyone so much as mentioned ‘The Scottish Play’ - this appalling behaviour had me banned from many a smart establishment and lost me some quite close friends… but the sky didn’t fall in so that was a bonus. Similarly, telling non-theatrical friends to ‘break a leg’ has caused some unpleasant scenes - it’s a long story…

I always look someone in the eye when Cheers-ing (seven years of bad sex if you don’t, apparently) and always ‘drink when I clink’ (not sure what the outcome is for this one, but why take the chance?).

My kitchen floor is satisfyingly crunchy with its layer of salt that I have tossed over my left shoulder to counteract spillage of said seasoning, and I never thrust my chopsticks downwards into food for fear of imitating the Japanese number 4…symbolising death (OK, I realise that’s a bit niche!). I have been ejected from yachts due to my contraband bananas (Captain Sandy didn’t tell me they were considered unlucky on boats) and I constantly look up as birds fly overhead in the hopes that one might poop in my eye, the luckiest of good luck. Apparently.

So, I finish by wishing you all a good day, touch wood, fingers crossed and black cats allowing… and get your shoes off the table!


Bimla's Buzz

Bimla is our events columnist and has organised events large and small, corporate and private, glamorous, low key, breathtaking in London and beyond, before moving to Cheltenham and settling down. Now she's a new mum and is adapting to the life changes that motherhood brings.

Weddings on a budget

Wedding budgets are contentious subjects. The average spend (outside of London) is roughly £18,000 which is a huge amount of money for a lot of people. A savvy planner knows a good few ways of keeping those costs down. Here is a selection of ideas to help you along the way:

  • Avoid the summer months and stay away from the weekends. Venues often charge a peak season and weekend rate which can be up to 20% more expensive than saying ‘I do’ on a mid-week winter day. Winter weddings can be beautiful and a British summer doesn’t guarantee the sun. Stating the obvious.

  • If your venue will allow it, go for food trucks and have a more casual Breakfast than the traditional sit down meal. Consider two or three savoury options for guests to pick from, ensure you provide tables and chairs so people still have somewhere to eat, but keep it less formal.

  • If you have to have a seated meal, see if your venue will let you do two savoury courses and then use the cake as your pudding course.

  • Female wedding attire can be incredibly expensive but there are plenty of sample sales around with dresses at a fraction of the RRP.

  • Get crafty with a bunch of friends and a few bottles of wine. Homemade stationery and decorations will take a bit of time and effort but save you a pretty penny in the long run.

  • Flowers can rack up a hell of an invoice. Think about where designs can be reused throughout the day and get your florist to move them around, from ceremony to table dressing as an example.

  • Finally, if you want a wedding planner but just can’t afford the expense, consider booking my virtual planning service. You will have access to my templates, hints and tips, two hours of virtual 1-2-1 advice and additional group Q&A support. Drop me a line to find out more.

Final note – don’t forget that your wedding day is NOT about how much you spend, but your commitment to your partner and celebrating your love with family and friends. XoXo.


5 October ChiChi Fit is back in live studios with classes once a week.
9 & 10 October
Marinades at The Strand
16 October Marinades at The Curious Wine Cellar in Northleach
28 October Business Lunch at Restaurant GL50 - contact restaurant to book. restaurantgl50.com 8 Norfolk House, Chester Walk, Cheltenham, GL50 3JX Telephone: 01242 228555 info@restaurantgl50.co.uk


New Babies

Last year we went to a family wedding at a breathtaking venue - The Natural History Museum in London - and it has already been a fruitful marriage! Luba has given birth to a beautiful baby boy, 7lbs 15ozs. Pranil is of Sri Lankan heritage and grew up in London and Luba is of Russian heritage and grew up in the USA. They conducted the first few months of their relationship long distance but she moved to England before the wedding and they have made their home here.

Congratulations also on new babies for Anna & Bjorn Martensson who welcomed Ali Ash into the world a few days early and Sophie Lydia & Daryl Perkins with Arlo Alexander. What great news!

We love surprising people with a feature in the magazine, so watch out friends and family... in the words of Ant and Dec, 'it could be you'.

Anna's Amazing Award

At a cider event I was chatting to friends Gemma and Anna. (Also at cider event... Me: "That cider really creeps up on you." Husband: "Only if you drink loads of it.")

Anna told me about her baking business and we discussed how hard many businesses have been hit by lockdown, including hers.

When I looked at Anna's Facebook page I came across this wonderful photo of her winning the title of Baker of the Year in the UK at The Cake Professionals Awards 2020. What an achievement!

Anna's business is Sugar Bowl Bakes.



Jess A Little Creative has designed these fabulous colouring pictures - I have a feeling it's not just kids who will enjoy doing this.


Recipe of the Month

Squash and Spelt Risotto - Serves 4

by Jonas Lodge of Restaurant GL50


Spelt Grain 160g
1 Butternut Squash
Rapeseed Oil 100g
Chives 30g
Capers 20g
1 Vegetable Stock Cube


First cook the spelt in enough water to cover and drop the stock cube into the pan. Cook until the spelt is soft but not split. When it's cooked leave in a tray to cool. If you want to prepare the food and eat it another day this is a good step to have done as the spelt will keep perfectly in a sealed tub in the fridge for 2 days. Cut the squash in half across the middle. Peel the top half and cut into 8 wedges. Cover them in a small amount of oil, salt and pepper and roast at 180’C for 20 minutes until crispy and soft. Peel the bottom, halve it and take out the seeds. These can be washed, boiled for 1 minute and roasted if you want a crispy garnish. Cut up the squash into small dice and cover in water. Boil until soft and then blend into a puree with salt and pepper and the rest of the rapeseed oil to make it into a smooth consistency. This puree would be lovely with any spices you like to use. Cumin and paprika for example to spice up your risotto. To finish the risotto put the spelt into a pan with as much puree as you need to give it a nice creamy consistency but still dry enough to hold itself up. Warm this gently adding salt and pepper and a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice for a nice acidic balance. When hot, check the consistency and throw in chopped chives. Put the risotto onto four plates, and garnish with the roasted pieces of squash. Finish with more chives and sprinkle the capers over it all.

Relaxed fine dining in the heart of Cheltenham.



Tuesday – Thursday: 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Restaurant GL50

8 Norfolk house, Chester Walk, Cheltenham GL50 3JX
01242 228555



The Tiny Desk Concert by NPR Music

The Tiny Desk Project is brilliant. Ideal for background music for dinner parties, romantic dates or imagining you're at a soulful gig.

Favourite ones to watch in our household are Lila Ike, Mack Miller, Dave, Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish, Koffee, Adele, Roy Ayers, Erykah Badu, Gregory Porter, Cat Stevens and Mereba. Well actually, the list is endless. Find them on YouTube or the Tiny Desk website and you will have a long long list of choices.



Feedback for Cheltenham Lifestyle & Business

'My company has been represented by Cheltenham Lifestyle & Business for over a year now after a good friend personally recommended their services. I couldn’t be happier with the quality I’ve since benefited from. When I’m too busy with the day-to-day running of my business to give marketing my full attention - which is near enough always - they’re in my corner backing me. Cheltenham Lifestyle has always taken the time to understand my brand's mission and ethos, so that they can work tirelessly on my behalf reaching my intended audience. The very definition of 5-star service, I would recommend any business owner to join the community.'

Ashleigh from Eliminer


Some of the local businesses listed on our directory have added a coupon code giving our readers a special discount.

Visit the Coupons page to find out what they are: www.cheltenhamnoticeboard.co.uk/home/coupon-codes-special-offers


Joining The Members' Lounge Business Club

Some of the perks of joining our network on a monthly subscription:

  • Your own web page on our online directory.

  • Membership of private Facebook group The Members' Lounge.

  • Networking events.

  • Scheduled social shout outs.

  • Reduced advertising rates in e-magazine and printed magazine.

Some of the services we provide:

Interested in joining? Reserve your place by registering for payment with GoCardless, email us at cheltmembers@gmail.com and we'll be in touch to discuss with you which package is the most suitable for your needs. Please note that applications are subject to reviews being checked and that we may already be fully subscribed in your industry. Being referred by an existing member is a great way to get started.


Community & Lifestyle

Cheltenham Animal Shelter
01242 523521 gawa.org.uk

Gloucestershire Constabulary
101 for non-emergency enquiries; 999 for emergencies. www.gloucestershire.police.uk

Mark Wijesinghe Bathrooms & Boilers 07717 741075

Property - Morgan Associates Ltd
01242 514285 www.morgan-associates.co.uk

Ollie's Lock & Safe Locksmiths
07725 338705 besecure-locksmiths.co.uk

Business & Legal

Hooble - a helping hand with technology. Special offer web domains.
0333 577 6060 www.hooble.co.uk

Penny Red Media
07581 851685 www.pennyredmedia.co.uk

Rosie Reynolds Marketing
07967 832856 rosiereynolds.co

The Growth Hub
01242 715400 www.thegrowthhub.biz

Festival Law for Personal Injury and Medical Negligence compensation claims. 01242 633775 festivallaw.co.uk

The Divorce Manager - matrimonial law specialist for amicable divorce. 0800 294 0452 thedivorcemanager.co.uk


Thank you, guys, for making it possible for us to keep this magazine, our groups and social media platforms going. We LOVE working with our advertisers and we're proud of every single one of the www.cheltenhamlifestyle.co.uk www.cheltenhamnoticeboard.co.uk www.iwork4uglos.co.uk directory members. Thank you, readers, for inspiring us to create something interesting and useful, and for the lovely feedback from previous months. Special thank you to Cheranne for the design work. She makes it look beautiful and we're grateful.


Sal, Debs & Cheranne xx


'Stand guard at the door of your mind.'

Jim Rohn via Dan Astin-Gregory